Ministerial Meanderings

God centered theology in a man centered world.

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Location: Springfield, Missouri, United States

I was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Laurel, Maryland. I served in the United States Air Force for 20 years then retired. Then God led me to become a pastor. I was converted to Christ in the summer of 1966. I enjoy the company of my wife, children and grandchildren. I live with my three cats Taz.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

What People Just Don't Get About Christmas

I just got finished a few minutes ago watching one of my favorite Christmas movies ... "Scrooge", based on the book "A Christmas Carol." It is a very good movie. I rarely fail to be moved by the reclamation of Scrooge at the end and the resolution of the film. For what it's worth, my favorite version of the film is the 1951 version starring Alistair Sim.

But I have been watching other Christmas specials on TV and I see a common story line running through many of them. Essentially, a wretch, or family of wretches, are lost and magical powers (whether God or Santa Claus) have set about to reclaim that person or persons. Usually, this involves bring about a change in heart that leads the the person to live a life of good deeds towards their fellow human beings.

That is a nice sentiment. But it is not what Christmas is about. Our reclamation is not about living a life of good deeds. Being a good person will not get anyone closer to what they really need than trying to buy your way into heaven will.

Christmas is about Christ. We are conceived lost and born lost. The Bible says that before we are saved, the wrath of God abides on us. We are already lost. More than that, we are not able to do anything pleasing to God. We cannot bridge the divide between God and man. We are helpless. But God, to glorify himself, does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. We cannot go to God so God comes to us. Not in splendor and pomp, but in the body of a child of low estate. God came to the earth to bridge the divide between Himself and his fallen creations. God does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. God comes to us in the Person of the child Jesus of Nazareth. God comes to us in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ ... God of God ... King of All Creation ... Priest between God and men ... Prophet who is the Word of God Himself.

None of our good deeds will please a Holy God who can only look on His fallen creation and sees us in sin. But by faith in Jesus Christ, who He is and what He has done for us personally, we can be saved from God's wrath that abides on us and that will be realized in the say of judgment. Jesus, the Bethlehem baby, grew to die as a substitute for our sins, so that we no sin debt to be judged for. He took our place, satisfying God's wrath. He did for us what we could not do for ourselves.

He stood judgment as though He was us, so we could be judged as though we were Him.

When this truth gets a hold of the heart of the saved person, it is realized in a life of good works as God works in the person to change them into the mirror image of Jesus Christ.

In all the Christmas festivities, in all the songs (O come let us adore him!; Glory to the newborn King; and so on) people miss the real meaning of the season. I hear people singing these things and tossing out Christmas slogans but they have no real meaning of what they are saying. They really don't know what Christmas is really about. But I will tell you ... Christmas is about Christ. It is about God on earth. It is about our Substitute and Savior. It is about our King and our God. It is about Christ the Lord. Amen.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said John, and like you I like the Alistair Sims version too.


2:10 AM  

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