>On our way to church yesterday morning, it seemed as if very few people were out and about. Are Christmas morning services becoming a thing of the past?
Although there are always plenty of family gatherings to attend during the Christmas season, it would be a shame to discard Christmas worship like used gift wrap.
We heard a very good sermon on celebrating the Incarnation. We shouldn’t feel guilty about participating or enjoying celebrations with family or friends–as long as we do not separate the baby in the manger from the man and his mission.
The Incarnation is God becoming flesh. He became flesh and dwelt among us for a purpose: to save His people from their sin.
During the sermon, I was struck by the imagery of the baby lying helplessly on the wood of the manger and the man hanging helplessly on the wood of the cross. But both instances of apparent helplessness are actually divinely orchestrated events of sovereign intention.
Christ chose to become a dependent baby in a wooden feeding trough. He was not a mere moral teacher who became a victim of circumstances; he chose to become a voluntary sacrifice on a wooden torture instrument. He lay in the manger and hung on the cross intentionally, for the purpose of saving sinners.
As Paul writes in 1 Timothy 1:15, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.”
It’s easy for me to identify with the label, “chief of sinners,” but I must also remind myself that Christ came into the world to save sinners like me.
And salvation of sinners isn’t the end of the story. God’s sovereign plans are all for His glory.
Christ came into the world, He died on the cross; but He rose again and He ascended into heaven where He reigns at the right hand of God. And He is coming again. His first advent was only a foretaste of His second advent.
As we celebrate the beauty and the mystery of the Incarnation, may we anticipate the glory and the majesty of the consummation of Christ’s Kingdom.