What part of Christmas are you pondering?
“I don’t really understand all the hype about baby Jesus. It was really sad that He had to come into the world to save us from our sins.”
Each year God is kind enough to spotlight an aspect of the Christmas story for me to ponder. In the past, I have reflected on angels, shepherds, stars and Mary, to name a few. This year, however, will be the first time I view the Christmas story through a sobering lens.
He had to come because of me.
It started when I heard someone explain why they celebrate Christmas very simply. Not that they had a problem with how anyone else celebrates, just that they didn’t celebrate with a lot of hype. After several reasons were provided, the person said something like, “I don’t really understand all the hype about baby Jesus. It was really sad that He had to come into the world to save us from our sins.”
My heart stopped.
That is what I am pondering this Christmas. Can’t get it off my mind.
She is right. I am glad that He came as a baby, but sad that I was the reason.
In my world, the arrival of a baby is amazing. Exuberant calls are placed to family and friends. Ultrasound photos are shared and framed. Gender Reveal parties are organized, baby showers are planned. Whose heart doesn’t melt over tiny clothes and shoes, adorable crib sets and blankets so soft we can’t help but pull each to our face?
New babies represent LIFE. Fresh starts. Do overs. New hope.
And Jesus does represent that ultimately.
But first He came to DIE.
@Paul Tripp tweeted a similar thought this week too: The clear message of the manger is that God had to send His Son because the disease of sin is terminal and none of us is able to escape it.
Where was Jesus before His birth as a baby?
There He was, the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell…. Colossians 1:15-20
He left all that for us. He left all that because of us.
He emptied Himself. He made Himself nothing.
but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
ESB (Philippians 2:7)
rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
NIV (Philippians 2:7)
Before we see Jesus in the nativity scene,
He developed in the darkness and secrecy of Mary’s womb.
Let’s be reminded this Christmas season that without Jesus we were dead. We were dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:1). We could do nothing to rescue ourselves. So He came to die and forgive us (Ephesians 2:1, Colossians 2:13).
He didn’t show up as a King in gallantry and grandeur…but in darkness and smallness.
I will be pondering that this Christmas. And thanking Him for going to such lengths to make a way for us to be made alive with Him.
After being emptied, He made a way for us to have eternal life.
Then…and only then…does the celebration of baby Jesus become what we are accustomed to:
- Fresh starts
- Do overs
- New hope
Enjoy your December. Ponder a portion of the Christmas story. Don’t rush by.
And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:8)
Picture explanation: My daughter decorated the house for Christmas this year as a surprise since I am nursing a broken elbow back to health. May you enjoy the vignettes within my home this year as much as I enjoyed them upon my arrival home one day.
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