2007-12-25 - The Other Christmas Story
Christmas Day 2007
The usual Christmas story can be found in the gospels of Luke and Matthew but let's consider a rather unusual telling of the Christmas narrative found in the gospel of John.
John 1:1-5, 10-14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
The verses that really sum up the story of our Savior's birth to me are verses 11 and 14. He came to his own but they didn't receive him. The word became flesh and dwelt among us. God became one of us but we did not accept him. Isn't that the story of Christmas in a nutshell for most people. We love to think of a little baby in a manger in some far away romanticized barn where the animals are lowing and everything is just perfect. But that's not the case at all - that baby was God himself and he came into this world in a filthy crude stall in a cave near an inn overflowing with people who didn't have time to worry with a pregnant teenager and make room for her and the child she carried.
Do you see how incredible that is? God, the one who created everything - the Word who spoke creation into existence, became like the weakest of his creations, a newborn babe. And he didn't enter into this world to royal parents but through a little known carpenter and his fiancée.
Imagine looking at a bunch of disgusting maggots crawling around in a rotting possum by the side of the road. Imagine feeling compassion for them and becoming one of them. Imagine a bunch of cockroaches scurrying around in a dark cabinet and someone feeling so sorry for them being squished when they were found that you became one to be squished instead. That is what God did when he became us. We are in a dirty rotten sin filled world but God came to touch sinners while not being touched by sin himself. And by in large, we reject him. Even many of us who call ourselves Christians reject him. We believe the parts of his story that we want to believe. We like the sweet baby Jesus and the forgiving Jesus but we skim over the Jesus who was critical of established religion and ran the businessmen out of the temple.
Jesus has come. Will you accept him fully or will you be one of His own who rejects him? Jesus is coming again. Where will you stand? Will you admit you're in darkness and need light? Will you pretend to see just fine in the dark?
Jesus - be my light and make me a light in this world. Amen
All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted