There are so many things to celebrate at this time of year, but for me none of them tops the miracle of the incarnation.
With the birth of Jesus, we weren’t just given another teacher or leader to show us the way to a better life and a better world. Jesus came to be the way to a better life and a better world. He didn’t just come to tell us or even just show us what we must do to make things better. He came to do for us everything that we cannot do ourselves – he came to live the kind of life we ought to have lived but haven’t; he came to suffer in our place the ultimate consequences of the lives we have lived so that we can be free to live the kind of life God always meant for us to live and enjoy. He came to save us.
But to do all this, Jesus had to be different – he had to be different from anyone who was ever born before, and that is what the miracle of the incarnation is all about. Jesus was and is different from anyone who was ever born before because he is God.
He is God in the flesh, truly God and also truly human.
There have been many inspired and very inspiring people come and go over the years – powerful spiritual leaders – but none of them were God. Similarly, there are countless legends from all over the world of various gods taking on human form. But even if those legends were meant to be understood as historical events in the way the life of Jesus has been recorded for us, none of those stories describe those gods becoming as thoroughly human as the New Testament describes with the miracle of the birth of Jesus. Jesus was born into extreme poverty. He lived as a child refugee. He became a servant, even to those who would abandon and betray him. He suffered. He got hungry. He wept, and he died. He truly is “God with us.” But not just with us…he came to save us.
Although Jesus went though everything we’ve gone through and worse, he came out the other side. He died and he rose again and in the process made resurrection and eternal life part of what it means to be human, and he did it all entirely for our sake.
If you would like to explore the evidence for Jesus’ divinity and his resurrection I commend to you the new Alpha Film Series video entitled “Who is Jesus?”. My purpose in laying all this out isn’t to try and prove to you that it’s true. I’m simply laying all this out because I cannot think of anything more worth celebrating at this, or really any time of year, than Jesus. Jesus is what I’m celebrating this Christmas, and I hope you can celebrate him with me.
15 January – Senior Youth Group will meet at the home of Rev. Dan in Apohaqui at 4:00 pm
16 January – Middle School Youth Group will meet at the Bloomfield Hall
16 January – Elementary Youth Group will meet at the Bloomfield Hall