The more I think about Christmas the more I realize just how important it is.
Christmas is no small event – it’s really significant. It’s a really big deal.
It’s a big deal because the gospel is a big deal – and the gospel required Christmas – the announcement that Jesus died and rose again to make atonement for your sin. The cross required an incarnation! How could God have done it without a body? How could the second Adam redeem his people unless he too became a human?
The heart of Christmas is the incarnation – God became flesh and dwelt among us. And the incarnation is the prerequisite of the gospel.
That’s why Christmas is a big deal! Christmas is ultimately about Christ, the gospel, and the spread of the kingdom of God. It’s the reign of Jesus. It’s God’s reclamation of creation (so to speak). It’s all political. “Merry Christmas” is a war cry. It’s an announcement of the kingdom of God among us.
And that, my friends, is why we can’t let this Christmas just slip by as we operate on auto-pilot like we did last year. That’s the real danger of this time of year. The lights, the carols, the food, the gifts – it can all become so routine that it becomes meaningless.
That is where we need a good dose of theological thoughtfulness, incarnation intentionality.
We need to combine the festivities with “the reason for the season.”
That, for example, is why the Israelites had so many festivals. Tons of them! They needed times of year and particular actions and activities to remember Yahweh and what he has did for them!
So Christmas is about remembering Christ and his birth – it ought to be about joy, giving, family, feasting, and even fudge.
I mean just think about fudge. What a good gift from God! It’s awesome. It melts. It’s wonderful.
Christmas is the time to eat fudge in light of what Jesus has done.
It’s the time to enjoy family and friends in light of what Jesus has done.
It’s the time to give to others as Jesus has given to you.
Now…the Christian life is all about self-denial. It’s about simplicity. It’s not about extensive consumption, self-indulgence, and the endless pursuit of wealth. (That’s the world we left.) But with that said, remember that Jesus himself, at special times, promoted celebration and lavish acts of extravagance. Jesus made wine at weddings (gallons of it) and defended the woman who, at great cost, broke the alabaster jar on his feet (John 2:1-11; Luke 7:36-50). And I am convinced that he is pleased when we celebrate him with joy and feasting and gladness.
So whoop it up.
Really whoop it up.
Well, don’t go into massive credit card debt…
But really – eat the fudge. Drink the egg nog. Cook a turkey (and a ham!) Gain a few extra pounds maybe. Sing loud. Bless the poor! Hug the grandkids lots. Enjoy…and worship.
Take your soul off autopilot this Christmas! Don’t go through the motions again this year! It’s all about Jesus! He’s God incarnate! Think about him! Worship him! Read some Scripture with family (or friends)! Maybe start in Luke’s Gospel.
Enjoy it all. Do it all in worship with thanksgiving – because there is a lot more feasting coming your way when Jesus returns. We’re just getting started…“of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end.”
(Note that this article is all shaped and incluenced by Douglas Wilson’s book God Rest Ye Merry, which includes a defense of fudge…so credit where credit is due – and read the book maybe)