The Meaning of Christmas

This is probably not the time of year when Jesus was born. More likely He was born in September-October (when shepherds would be in the fields). That means Christmas could be the day when Jesus was conceived in Mary’s womb, but we don’t have any records or evidence so that we can know for sure. What we do know is that this is the time of year when most people in the Western world, at least, actually do give a thought or two to the birth of Christ. So it is appropriate at this time of year to think of what Christmas tells us about God.

Think of the risk involved. God chooses to take human form in order to reveal in an accessible way what God is like (John 1:14-18; 14:9). He could have come fully formed, like the original Adam, and face all the challenges of this life as an adult, with adult reasoning and capacities. But instead God entrusts Himself to a human mother, to feed, train and protect Him. What could possibly go wrong with this picture? It is the story of incredible, risk-taking, no-holds-barred love. It is only in such a full-bodied way that human beings could fully discover what God is like (Heb 1:1-3) and God could fully experience what humanity in all of its sinfulness and rebellion is like (Heb 5:6). Only a love that will not let us go would do that. A love that was willing to allow His own creatures to torture and kill Him rather than retaliate (Luke 23:34). There is no need to be afraid of such a God and there is every reason to worship Him. And the good news is that we become like the kind of God we worship. To worship and admire a God like that is to become more and more like Him.

Wouldn’t it be a great Christmas if that happened to you?

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