If Christmas is for real the whole world changes.
Like a meteor hurling through the space of history a bombshell landed in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago – plus a few more years. Today, we are frantically racing to land on the moon again and planning trips to Mars. Then, a once in a universe lifetime trip was made from heaven to earth in the capsule of a peasant teenager’s womb.
Until then human beings in every generation looked up to the starry heavens and imagined the existence of something more; someone greater than their mortal selves. They sensed it, felt it from time to time, perhaps imagined, and even dreamed. It made them afraid. So they carved images, built temples, created rituals, and told stories handed down to explain, appease, and honour that which is beyond.
Over the centuries wars and bloody battles were fought in the name of gods. Lines were drawn, plunder and persecution abounded, and martyrs fell on every side. Humanity was passionately spiritual; flesh, bone, and intellect never satisfied, but the question of god (or was there more than one) confused. Eventually in some places, in sheer desperation, pluralism was elevated to the status of ultimate truth. A respectful conclusion that all religions are equal and their truth is relative to those who believe the particularity of that faith. If god is s snake, so be it. If god is a collection of spirits, so be it. If god is nothing but imagination and the wishes of the weak seeking a crutch, so be it.
Throughout history all these ideas, suggestions, convictions, and passions have risen from every tribe on earth seeking to open the heavens and reveal the life beyond. Or is the span between conception and death the totality of life for each and all?
The one thing we find hard to comprehend of imagine is the existence of truth and essence quite independent of ‘us’. Our imaginations run rampant. Our prejudices and fears yank us beneath the covers because if there is ‘someone out there’ it must be scary, angry, and probably bad news. The only way to break the polluted and restricted patterns of thinking we’ve inherited and collectively nurtured is for God to make Himself known and visible – independently; neither asking our permission nor waiting for our consent.
Hence the first Christmas. A bombshell of revelation birthed in a babe bearing good news from heaven to earth. No one fears a baby. Everyone wants to hold, rock, cuddle and coo over a newborn and embrace them close. That’s the message of the first Christmas pure and simple. God so loved the world that He sent His son, Jesus, to live among us and to gradually give revelation to who He is and what he’s like.
For so many of us the reputation of God has been damaged or tarnished by people, churches, movements, perceptions, prejudices, or attitudes. Possibly our own failures, compromises, struggles, or defenses have caused us to conclude that we’ll never be worthy, or spiritual enough, or acceptable to the God we imagine we know from a distance.
Toss out the meaning of Christmas with the tree in January and the alternative is not pretty. There’s no truth, no grounds for morality, no substance for love, no creative design for life, no hope for the future, no meaning to life beyond death. There’s nothing beyond ourselves and the historic collective conscience. One thing history confirms to every generation is that we’re not ‘getting better’ left to our own resources. Virtually every challenge the world faces today can be identified to a source in human selfishness, greed, and exploitation. We live as gods to ourselves but we can’t get our act together.
Perhaps this Christmas season is an opportunity to allow those tired and tattered layers to fall away and to dare to ask God for a fresh encounter and revelation of Himself that’s personal and real. Pick up a bible that’s easy to read or google the accounts of Jesus’ birth in Matthew, Luke, or John and start reading. If God is real you’ll hear his voice this Christmas in a way that you can understand and know it’s Him.
Here are the links……
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+1%3A18+-+3%3A1&version=NIV https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+2&version=NIV https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+1&version=NIV
If God is real, and the first Christmas is real, then He’s still real today. As real as gravity, and rain, and wind, and the stars. Lots of people are sending off saliva samples for DNA tests to reveal their origins and ancestors. “Where do we come from in the world, where are our roots?”
The first Christmas revealed that our deepest connection and purpose is to be spiritually rooted and connected with our Father, who is God, through His Son, Jesus… empowered with life by His Holy Spirit (who makes Him real in us today and whose presence you will encounter if you ask Him to show Himself to you).
If Christmas is real then you are loved, anything you’ve ever done wrong can be forgiven, your life has purpose. your challenges have hope, your identity is restored. Heaven only knows, that’s just the tip of the revelation Jesus brings…..
Be blessed this Christmas……