Monday, December 19, 2011

Fireside Chat: Christmas

Well, once again Christmas time is among us and Christmas proper is right around the corner. Of course, the Nativity was just one step of series of events in the life of Christ. Moreover, this series of events or causal nexus is one which culminates with things such as salvation from God’s wrath, an end to enmity between God and man, the justification and glorification of sinners-turned-saints: you know, the sorts of things that sound meaningless when we look at the words which denote them but mean a lot more if we stop to meditate on them.

With that said, I pose the following question: How many people do you know would freely and willingly go out of their way to do the following for the likes of you?

1) To become an infant who presumably cannot walk, talk, feed himself, etc.;
2) To become an obedient child who is obligated to obey the oft-erroneous commands of fallible parents--you know, the kind of people who tell you to put on a jacket even when it’s not cold outside and meteorologists haven’t forecasted cold temperatures;
3) To become a pious and wise youth surrounded by foolish peers and an adult surrounded by religious teachers who have less of an understanding of the Scriptures than you;
4) To become a human being subjected to temptation even in the absence of a fallen nature;
5) To sign up to go and suffer a slow, painful death.

Presumably the answer is “not too many,” because the world certainly isn’t lacking in people who would instead just leave sinners or wrongdoers to perish for their own mistakes and acts of rebellion against God. After all, we all know the truth and wisdom behind the saying “You made your bed; lie in it.”

However, what was enumerated in numbers one through five above this was in fact done by one man, and it was done to the glory of God and to the benefit of those who will honor God by believing in the One whom he sent. So if you are a believer, when December 25 comes you have plenty of reason to be thankful and to rejoice over the Nativity and the divine gifts of which it was only a precursor. Then again, if what the word “believe” means to you is to believe that Santa-qua-miracle-man exists, on account of nostalgia and a certain perennial advertising campaign of Macy’s, then for you December 25 should actually be a time of mourning and supplication. Because apart from faith in Christ no one can please God and no one is righteous.

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