From the entire Concordia family to yours: Merry Christmas! Today’s post comes from Concordia Deaconess Carole King. Concordia has an outstanding Chaplaincy Department that actively contributes to our patients’ and residents’ spiritual well being. Enjoy!
I’ve always said that without Easter, we wouldn’t celebrate Christmas. After all, everyone is born, but not everyone is resurrected from the dead.
But it’s a valid point that without Christmas, we wouldn’t celebrate Easter. Of course Jesus had to be born to die, but it goes beyond that. Only someone sinless could be the substitute for sinful people, so he couldn’t be simply human. Only an infinite God could suffer the eternal punishment for all of us billions of sinners. Only the Author of Life could rise from the dead. But he’d have to be human to die in the first place.
So he’d have to be both God and human. That’s what makes the birth of Jesus so remarkable; God Himself, the Word, “became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) That’s why you couldn’t have Easter without Christmas.
Aside from this argument, have you ever really stopped to think about this incredible birth? Because the story is about a lot more than just an unlikely series of events, albeit prophesied, around the birth of a special baby.
The story is amazing because He who was without sin chose to come to a fallen world. It’s extraordinary that He who rules over the glories of heaven would live among a poor family in a subjected nation – and that before modern plumbing and utilities! It’s astounding that the King of Kings would be found as a baby in a feeding trough and that the Creator of all took on the form of a mere creature.
Likewise, the time before the birth is hard to comprehend. How could He who “fill[s] all the universe” (Eph. 4:10) be confined to a woman’s womb for nine months? And why would He who created hundreds of billions of galaxies choose to become a mere embryo?
The answer? For you. For me. For your friend. For your enemy. Because He loves each and every one of us hundreds of billions of times more than we can imagine.
Now that’s something truly awesome to consider. While I deserve nothing but wrath from Almighty God, He manifests His extravagant love in unthinkable humiliation.
That’s why Christmas is such a magnificent holiday. That’s why we celebrate.
Within an earthborn form He hides
His all-creating light;
To serve us all He humbly cloaks
The splendor of His might.
He is a servant, I a lord:
How great a mystery!
How strong the tender Christ Child’s love!
No truer friend than He.
(LSB Hymn #389 verses 3‒4; © 1989 Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission: LSB Hymn License .NET, no. 100013631)
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