Christmas & Jesus

Posted: December 22, 2014 in Pastor's Corner
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imageConsidering the world’s loves for Christmas, along side it’s despising of Jesus Christ is a conundrum. Let’s face it the world is not a respecter of Jesus, but it loves Christmas. The cross is offensive, but the celebration of Christ’s birth is the very center of our economy; at least in holiday title only. Let’s face it, Jesus is a highly polarizing person, the world hates him, but the world loves stuff. John 7:7—The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil.”

Of course the world hates Jesus, his words are not vacant of truth. The world hates him because he shines light into the dark chasms of wickedness, then calling people to turn from their wickedness. The problem is that people would like to like Jesus. Who doesn’t want a savior? Who wouldn’t want eternal bliss and the abundance of heaven? Who wouldn’t be overjoyed to be perfect and enjoy eternal perfection? Who wouldn’t want to avoid hell fire, where the flame is never quenched and the worm dieth not? These are all natural desires for mankind.

In an effort to win people to Christ, giving them what they want, Christ is modified to meet felt needs and desires. A modifies Jesus is one the world can love. The gospel is then modified to fit the needs of the world, so that the world won’t hate him. Modifying Jesus so that the world will accept him is essentially making a Jesus of our own devices. Fashioning gods in our own image have been part of our humanity since the beginning. However Jesus is not a respecter of people, nor is he molded to be what we want, his message is never capitulated.

Some how the church is surprised by a world loving Santa Claus more than baby Jesus. We mustn’t be surprised to know that the world doesn’t see him as we do. In the same turn we mustn’t modify Jesus to fit the worlds desires; effectively turning Jesus into Santa Claus.

Let us keep our celebration of Immanuel, God with us, as our celebration and not the world’s. When many are offended by the cross, and the demands of Jesus Christ seem burdensome, may we not change the good news of God’s redemption. Rather may we cast ourselves upon his mercy and grace pleading for the world to turn to Jesus Christ.

As Christmas quickly approaches, may we celebrate the God who came and lay in a manger. Let us celebrate Immanuel rejoicing how he came to take our sin. May we see Jesus as the Lord and King over all. Let us rejoice that rebels against God have been made his children, so that we might worship him alone.

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