It is almost Christmas yet again and time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. It is a simple story, some say, with a simple message—Christ was born of a virgin; He was both fully man and fully God. He came to be the Savior of the world. It is the beginning of a beautiful love story of how “For God so loved us” first!
— Mathew 1:21-23
Have we erred in making this story far too simple?
In this story made simple, we have missed how great God’s love is for us, why He came, and what His purpose for us was in His coming. We have lost the glorious and beautiful saving message this beginning of His great love story tells. We will spend the rest of our lives and all of eternity discovering the mysteries of who God is through knowing Christ and becoming like Him.
The story of Christ’s birth is only the beginning of all God wants to reveal about Himself. In our over-simplified telling of this story, we are like a man who went on a long journey, but when his journey was through, he had little to share about his journey because he could not tell anyone how he got to where he was going. All too often the purpose of Christ’s birth is lost—All God has done is to do a good work in man to redeem him unto himself.
We have reduced this greatest act of God’s love to a mere birthday celebration.
God’s purpose in His coming was that we might become—“like Christ.” Through Christ’s perfect birth, life, death, and resurrection we can know God’s great love. Christ’s birth is only the beginning of this great journey. Making it too simple has robbed us of the glory and the beauty of this great love story God wants to write on the hearts of men—It is the gospel!
By making the story simple, have we not just made people gospel stupid?
God’s purpose is to make us like His son so we might bear fruit in sharing the “good news” told to us by an angel, we have heard and believed in, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.”
Being made “like Christ” is the “good tidings of great joy” the angel announced at Christ’s birth. God offers us His “peace on earth” by the giving of His Son, making it then possible His creation might no longer be separated from Him.
If we are not like Him, we do not know Him! To know Christ is to know God. Our future glory in heaven is found in being made just like Christ. It is called sanctification. It is the power of God unto salvation; our great transformation; the changing of our hearts so we can become like Him.
It is the gift of Christmas. It is the message of Christmas we have all too often lost in our simple story told. We tell the story of a baby born of a virgin; a miraculous birth. We tell the story of God dwelling among men. We too often leave out God’s intended result.
We are changed into His likeness! We are sanctified!
Give the ultimate gift to everyone this Christmas. Tell the whole story!
Who will you tell the true story of Christmas in all its glorious detail?
Are we still lying on our death bed?
Are we doing what He said?
Is His love the reason for the season?
Has death in us really been beaten?
How can we walk by the cross
And not be totally changed?
How can we experience Christ
And our world not be completely rearranged?
Will not our hearts be crushed by the blame?
Will not all we once believed
Then become instantly lame?
How can we go on living
Just as we did before?
When the cross shows us
We are so wretched
And so spiritually poor.
When the light on that cross
Shines like a Christmas tree
Illuminating all we’ve done before;
How can the darkness that enslaves us
Not flee from the light
Coming from Christ who is the door!
While the Silver Bells are ringing;
When Christmas Carolers are singing;
Are we celebrating
Only the coming of a Baby King in winter?
Or are we celebrating God Himself ?
Coming down to us, our sins He will deliver!
A Baby born of a virgin.
God from heaven coming down.
A manger of new life
Shadowed by a cross of death.
A changing of the seasons.
Salvation has come.
Jesus is His name.
A Baby born—God Himself—We are Changed!
Ron C. Kyker