Christmas in Stereo

by Andy Wood on December 22, 2008

in Tense Truths

Ever since there was something called “The Christmas Story,” the birth of Jesus has been a two-sided event.  In the familiar stories found in Luke’s and Matthew’s gospels, you read of shepherds and prophets, wise men and kings, Mary and Joseph.  It’s written from man’s perspective.  When the angels announced to the shepherds, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord,” that gives us Christmas from the human side.

Left there (which we usually do), Christmas is all about us.  But there is a different story – one that’s told from the counsel of Heaven itself.  You find it in the gospel of John.

“In the beginning was the Word… And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.”

That’s an eternal picture.  That’s God’s picture.  And perhaps the best description of Christmas from God’s perspective is the most familiar verse in the Bible:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son….”

This Christmas, celebrate Christmas in stereo.  Take the time to recognize the full picture.  In the words of Charlie Brown and millions before and after him, “Linus, what is Christmas all about?”

Christ

Christmas means Christ.  Not just love, joy, families, or holiday cheer.  Maybe one day the world will wake up and realize that Christmas spells his name!

What did those shepherds understand when the angel said “Christ?”  The word means “anointed one,” and in the Old Testament that signified three offices:  Prophet, Priest, and King.  Jesus is all three of those and more.

Please understand, Jesus Christ didn’t sneak up on the position He holds today.  From His birth, He was Messiah.

Aggressiveness

Put yourself in God’s place for a minute.  What if it was you the entire world had forsaken?  Would you be willing to make the first move to reach out to those who had so rejected you?

God did.  And the result was a quiet, but busy day and night in Bethlehem.

Christmas is God’s eternal evidence that He was willing to make the first move to restore peace with you.

Reaching

The whole Bible is a history of God reaching out to man.

You see Him reaching out to Adam in the Garden.  Adam walked away.

You see Him reaching again through the Exodus.  Again, we enjoyed the benefits for a little while, then said, “No, thanks.”

Through His Law and through the prophets, God continued to reach out again and again to man.  And throughout the course of history, man continued to turn his back.

You know what Christmas is?  It is God reaching out to the world for the last time.

Reaching to give.

Reaching to save.

But after Jesus, reaching no more.

Inviting

There’s an invitation in the Christmas story.  “Whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”  That’s Christmas!

Christmas is God inviting you to experience life at its fullest.

Eternal life.

Abundant life.

God’s life.

Saving

Christmas is the birth of a Savior.  The angel made that abundantly clear.  You cannot see a cradle and a manger without seeing a cross.  Christmas means nothing unless we remember that while we were born to live, Jesus was the only human ever born to die.

That’s bad news and good news to you and me.  The bad news is, we need saving.  You can’t negotiate that on your own.  The good news is, He finished the work He was sent to do.  Christians celebrate that corporately every Sunday.  Christmas is our time for remembering when the earthly battle began.

The ancient Greeks had a charming word – charisC.h.a.r.i.s. is the heart of Christmas:

Christ, Aggressively Reaching, Inviting, Saving.

In English, charis means “grace.”

And that, Charlie Brown, is what Christmas is still all about.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Tree Newt December 22, 2008 at 10:44 pm

Bravo, Andy! Indeed, He is what this season is all about.

Uhhhh…well…he’s what it ALL is ALL about!

Merry Christmas to you guys!

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