There are plenty of decorations to buy and parties to attend during this season... but how should we really celebrate Christmas? The question is important because of the significance of the day and because so many obviously do not know how to celebrate it.
Part of what it means to be a Christian is to believe the unbelievable: that the historical human person, Jesus, who was born in a stable in a backwater village outside of Jerusalem some two thousand years ago, was actually God in the flesh.
When we discuss the gospel and God’s mission, it is tempting to focus solely on theological statements and activities done by the church. However, at the core of the gospel is not an idea but a person—Christ.
Here in this simple phrase we have mysteries so great that the angels desperately long to understand. In a nutshell, the greatest gift that God gives us is himself. But in order for us to understand the magnitude of what John is saying here, we need to step back and look at the larger story of the Bible.
Sometimes when we come to passages like Matthew’s condensed Christmas story, we don’t come with that childlike curiosity and wonder—looking at the everyday with awe, perceiving the familiar as fascinating. But we should.
We need to see that if our work is to be acceptable and effective, it must come as fruit; it must be the spontaneous outgrowth of a healthy, vigorous life, the Spirit and power of Christ living and working in us.