Monday, December 13

It's Our Party!

It always amuses me a bit that at the same time that certain political organizations try to remove Christian symbols from the upcoming holiday because they understand exactly what they represent, and pagans--and those of other religions, too--have serious discussions of whether it's right for them to celebrate Christmas since it's a celebration of the birth of the Christian God (You can google it if you need proof!), there are Christians who refuse to celebrate Christmas because they believe it has pagan origins. Pagan origins or not, it is now, at it's core, a celebration of the incarnation of Christ. There may be all kinds of meaningless trappings obscuring it's true significance, but the heart of the commemoration is still there, recognised even by those who stand in opposition to it.

God's people have every reason to have a holiday to remember the incarnation, for all of our hope depends on what was accomplished in it. Christ's death and resurrection are the centerpiece of what was done for us, but the death and resurrection worked to our benefit only because the God that died and was raised for us came to be one of us.

We have something the fallen angels don't have--God's redemptive focus; and the solution he purposed out of his desire to save us requires that Christ be human just as we are.
Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, he likewise shared in their humanity, so that through death he could destroy the one who holds the power of death (that is, the devil), and set free those who were held in slavery all their lives by their fear of death. (Hebrews 2:14 NET)
We have been set free from the fear of death because the one who died for us was also truly one of us--flesh and blood in the same way that we are flesh and blood. He voluntarily and obediently became, for a little while, lower than the angels in order to save us.

If being released from the hold death has on us because God become one of us isn't cause for festivity, I don't know what is! It's our party, our good news. Angels are only onlookers to the good thing we've experienced. It's our party, one those who belong to Christ can celebrate in a way no other creatures can. It's a birthday party and a coronation party for the one who gave up what he had to come down to die for us, for as a result of his willingness to empty himself and become one of us

God exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee will bow
—in heaven and on earth and under the earth—
and every tongue confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord
to the glory of God the Father.
(Philippians 2:9-11)

We ought to celebrate more than all of the rest--loudly, vigourously, joyfully--but at the heart of our celebration should be thankfulness for the One who came, and acknowledgment that he is Lord of all, to the glory of God the Father.