Christmas is the season of celebrating the good news of Jesus: that God became a man to save us!
That’s what the angel said:
“Behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” -Luke 2:10-11
What does it mean that God became man? Why does that matter to our celebration of Christ?
For one: Real life doesn’t trade spaces with Christmas decorations to go sit in storage for a month. Even as we receive heavenly gifts of joy and amazement at Jesus, we also deal with human realities of stress, grief, loneliness, and distraction.
Celebrating Jesus isn’t all tinsel, twinkling lights, and merry music. Joy isn’t always jolly. The Good News of the Gospel doesn’t mean life isn’t hard.
But because God became man, he understands all that.
“He is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf” (Hebrews 7:25).
Jesus lives forever! Even right now. And He cares about us, even in our troubles. Even on his birthday.
We aren’t celebrating a God who sits aloofly on a throne decked with holly, unaffected by the imperfectly wrapped gifts we bring, unaware of all that “real-life-is-still-hard worship” entails for human beings.
So, we can worship Him, even when we’re struggling with the stereotypical “Christmas spirit.”
Are you weak or helpless this Christmas?
Jesus became a helpless baby. The One through whom everything was created- including bodies- had to grow from a weak little infant to a man (John 1).
Are you grieving this Christmas?
Jesus grieved sin and death so much He came to save us. Then, as a man, He who could raise the dead and knew God’s eternal plan still grieved when friends died and when those He loved refused him. He knows sorrow firsthand (Matthew 23:37).
Are you struggling with uncertainty and doubt this Christmas?
Jesus subjected Himself to every temptation that is common to man when He became a man for us. The perfect, holy One knows what it is to be lured, baited, assaulted, and affected by sin and its’ effects on the mind, body, and world. He sympathizes with our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15).
Are you stressed and overwhelmed this Christmas?
Jesus had throngs press in on Him, thousands follow Him seeking miracles, food, and aid, plus people who sought to undermine Him, upset Him, trick Him, and ultimately kill Him. He knew everything that was going to happen, even the very worst things, and did not try to prevent them. Jesus knows stress. Sometimes, He sought to get away from it all and have time for peace and prayer. Now He says we can cast all our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7).
Are you concerned for loved ones, their hearts, and their choices this Christmas?
Jesus knew the sorrow of loving people who betrayed Him- some to the extreme of death but others in weakness, like 3 instances of denial. He experienced frustration with His fellow men, who were bent on becoming the greatest, or missing the point, or getting their way.
Jesus offered assurance like “be not afraid” often, and also offered plenty of correction, accountability, and repeated explanations to things people should have grasped the first time. He cares as much for individual people now, including your loved ones (2 Peter 3:9).
Are you not feeling the “Christmas Spirit”?
Jesus didn’t go with his brothers to an important festival, despite their requests. He celebrated the Passover by preparing for His own death and pleading with God. The stable He was born in smelled bad. He disrupted dinners and brought up topics everyone else wanted to avoid.
So, Jesus wasn’t exactly the life of the party.
If worship, for Jesus, was sometimes more stillness, somber, or meek than jubilant and jovial, it can be for us too.
Because Jesus became a human being to save us, we can worship as human beings, in human circumstances, struggling with human things.Because Jesus became a human being to save us, we can worship as human beings, in human circumstances, struggling with human things. Click To Tweet
I pray you “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” whatever that looks like for you this Christmas (John 4:24).
One of my husband’s favorite authors is Josh Moody (and I appreciate his teaching too!) He recently wrote How Christmas Can Change Your Life, a very short, to the point, uplifting book looking at 10 ways Christmas can impact us. It’s great for believers or as a gift for an unbelieving loved one. We’ve already been blessed by this book during advent!
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