Although we are still in the season of advent, Christmas is not so far away, just two more days and it will be Christmas.
At Mind Renewers, Pastor Jon Gleason has given some of us good reasons to celebrate, and not to be put off by the Bah Humbug of either the aggressive secularists, because we do have something wonderful to celebrate nor by those who look at the historical origins of the word Christmas and say we should avoid it because it has tainted origins. He is right.
But there is more. At the birth of Jesus, we, all of humanity, were given a clear illustration of how different our God is from all the false gods, Baals, Greco-Roman pantheon, Hindu gods, Buddhas, Allah and all. I was preparing a Bible study for the new year on Obadiah, and noticed the reference in 1Kings to Obadiah, who served in Ahab’s court, a frightened but God-fearing man who did not put his head on the chopping block. So I needed to be reminded of this because I chickened out of telling an acquaintance the reason for my celebrations at Christmas. As one of the best preachers I have ever heard said on several occasions that I heard him, “I want to tell you this not because I think you need to hear it but because I know I need to hear it.”
Christianity is unique. Every other religion on this planet involves making ourselves better hat we are so that we will meet our God’s impossibly high standards, but Christianity is the only one in which God says to his people, “By your own efforts, you will never be holy, as I am holy, so, to enable you to meet with Me, I will send Someone who is holy. He will enable you to meet with me.”
Lets go over that again. We do not have a vengeful God who sets us a target he knows we cannot meet and then says “Tough luck, you had your chance!” We have a loving god who is aware that we cannot meet his impossibly high standards, so he sent His son, Jesus, to take our punishment, so that we could be credited with His righteousness. We have a God who is both realistic and just, and willing to pay the price for our sin. This is something worth celebrating. Glad tidings of great joy is insufficient, description. But celebrate with Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band again