“…and you shall call His name Jesus; for He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

“For there is born to you this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11

“For God so loved the world the He gave His Only begotten Son the whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16

Okay a little of a spoiler alert as that title may seem somewhat provocative.  This is not meant to espouse a human-centered theology that places us at the center of creation, relegating even Our Heavenly Father as merely a support mechanism; hardly.  Also in many previous posts I’ve stated my complete lack of ability to speak for God Almighty and I’m not starting to speak for Him now.  No I’m reflecting on His own words to us.

Let me be clear, there is no Christmas without Christ.  Yet let us also be very clear, John makes it very clear in his gospel as well as other writings in the Old Testament, that the Son of Gold existed prior to coming to earth.

So why come down to earth?  Why come in the form of a baby?  Why not come down as a pillar of fire in the night and pillar of smoke in the day; accompanied by earthquakes, flashes of lightning and peels of thunder?  He certainly could have.  Why not come down to sit in judgement of the earth condemning all sinners to eternal damnation?  Again He certainly could have.  Yet, in John, Jesus stated that He did not come to condemn the world but to save it.

Let us also be very clear; both the Old and New Testament make it clear that God is in need of nothing.  He does not require our love nor our sacrifices.  It is not as if Satan becomes strong enough to threaten God if we become the devil’s followers.  God does not need us to declare His Glory for as stated in Psalm 19 the heavens themselves declare the Glory of God.  We, as His creation are diminished if we are not in relationship with Him.  However, the reverse is not true.  God is not diminished by our lack of relationship with Him.

Yet with all that, here is the inescapable aspect of Christmas. Here is the mystery of unfathomable Mercy, Grace, Forgiveness and Love.  God did come down.  God left the perfection of heaven to dwell in and with the imperfection of us on earth.  Plus, God did not come down in His all powerful nature, so powerful that He could not show Himself to Moses or cause Moses utter destruction.  No God came down as a humble child.  God took human form so that within that form, He could dwell with us and ultimately do what only He could do.  In that human form, He was able to take every sin that had been committed since the beginning of time as well as every sin that will be committed until the end of time, upon Himself, as the only perfect, one for all time sacrifice and die for our sins.

Yes, Jesus Christ, the Only True Son of God; came down for us, for you and I.  Here’s where we must be ever so careful.  For if we are not careful, we may start to see ourselves worthy of Christ’s sacrifice.  We may see ourselves as owed Christ’s salvation because we are good enough to receive it.  In some perverse way, we may feel that we are owed by Our Creator; His mercy and forgiveness, simply because we are His creation.  We may become proud, vain and deserving in our own eyes and find that we are hopelessly lost in God’s eyes.

No, while the act of Christmas may be for us; it is not a reward to us.  Christmas is a gift.  Christmas is a gift of immeasurable value; which can never break nor ever wear out.  It is a new gift each and every day.

Thus, if this is not a reward for our wonderful behavior, but an undeserved gift of mercy and grace; what should our response be?  Well for one we need to insure that we recognize the gift and the supreme nature of the generosity of the gift.  By first recognizing the nature of the gift, we can start to realize the significance of our response to it.  We must be careful that we are not like the person who is saved from the flood yet suddenly turns right back around and dives back into the raging torrent; or the person rescued from the burning building who inexplicably turns right around and runs back into the inferno.  We must humbly accept the gift in love and then allow that love to permeate every part of our being; transforming us from the people of destruction and despair, into people of victory and joyous light.  As the shepherds of that first Christmas did upon seeing their savior and the message of that first Christmas, we must go out and proclaim the good news of Christ’s coming, sacrifice, resurrection and continued life at the Right Hand of God the Father Almighty.  In that way, we show that we have received the gift and are not hiding it away in a closet somewhere only bringing it out on some special or fearful occasion such as our impending death.

In a miraculous way, far to amazing to truly comprehend; Christmas is about and for you and I.  God has fashioned the one perfect plan that we might come into a relationship with Him today and for all eternity.  Let us strive to see it for the undeserved gift that it is and never cease in our Praise of Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for it.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, while we give and receive gifts at this time of year; we humbly admit that we can not compare nor even totally conceive of the generosity of Your Gift of Your Son, Jesus Christ to come and be our Savior.  We find ourselves asking as David did; who is man that You are mindful of him?  Forgive us, Most Merciful Father when we either, see the gift of Jesus Christ as something owed us; or reject the gift all together.  Place Your Spirit in us that will reveal the overpowering generosity of Your gift and place in us a desire to live into that gift.  That through our living into the gift of salvation, we would live lives of praise to Your Most Holy Name.  We pray in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen

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