Saturday, January 03, 2009

Christmas, above all, should be disturbing.

I think Jehovah's Witnesses have it right. They don't believe that Jesus is God, come in the flesh, come to save the people from their sins. They ignore, or misinterpret, the second chapter of Philippians.  Jesus is a good man, even a king, they say, but He is not God in the flesh.  

Oh, yeah?  Read Philippians 2: Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, [1] who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, [2] being born in the likeness of men.

 He did not count equality with God (which was what He had) a thing to be grasped, or held onto.  He left glory to take on flesh and become a baby, born of a virgin, born to live and eat and tire and be battle-worn.  His was not an easy path, yet He chose it out of love.

Christmas is disturbing.  Take the time to clich over to C.J. Mahaney's article.  Instead of picturing the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, with shepherds and angels bowing down, remember this one thing:  This king, this babe-in-the-manger, came to die.  

And being found in human form, he humbled himself bybecoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 

He came to live a perfect life, knowing He would be raised in obscurity, that He would be rejected at first by those who loved Him, and that He would be mocked by the religious and civil leaders of the day.  He came to die the most awful of deaths - even death on a cross.  It wasn't going to be easy.

At least the JW's are honest.  They don't celebrate Christmas at all.  I feel sad for them, but in a way, they are telling the truth about what they believe.  It certainly isn't the God of the Bible that they worship.

But what about the rest?  How many thousands upon thousands of North Americans wish each other "Merry Christmas", with nary a thought about the Christ we remember?  

It's profoundly disturbing that one person had to pay the price for our sin.  It's profoundly disturbing that the angels who sang "Glory to God in the Highest" were aware of the price the Peace would cost.  And we who know this Christ and understand the Price that was Paid must celebrate deeply-for it was done out of love.  God the Father gave His only begotten Son, for me.  One day, we'll bow.  One day, we'll confess.  One day, we'll truly understand why this Jesus has been highly exalted and given the name that is above every name.  We'll bow, and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.  

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

And what a Christmas celebration that will be!  Some of you may yet come to understand that Jesus Christ is Lord in this life.  I'd be thrilled to discuss theology with you, if you ever so wish.  Meanwhile, take a trip over to the Raving Athiest's blog, to see how RT changed his tune.  As he studied and pondered what truth is, he naturally concluded that God is.

I know I'm late, but I wish A very Merry Christmas to all of you.

No comments: