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The Other Side of Christmas

Christmas points to the cross
Christmas points to the cross
sxc.hu

Christmas is here. Local radio stations play Christian songs this time of year. Christmas cartoons and musicals allude to Christ coming to earth. The nativity, showing Mary, Joseph and the Baby Jesus, implies such a condescending act by God.

These are things many in Denver experience and know.Yet as I have talked to them over the years down at the Auraria campus, they still do not fully grasp the point of the Incarnation--that the Second Person of the Trinity come to earth as man.

Like watching a play without a background and underlying plot, many unbelievers observe the nativity with a vague sense of something missing. "What's the big deal?" they ask.

Unfortunately, this question is asked because the message of Christmas is disappearing--not only due to the obvious chaos of narcissistic materialism, but also because of the increasing silence of the Church herself. To the extent that the proper background of the Incarnation is poorly explained, grasped or believed by the American Evangelical church, to that extent she is silent and unhelpful. She becomes a mime, acting out a story without a context.

And what is that context? Sin.

Not only was the Coming of the God-man a marvelous act of a Sovereign King dwelling among infinitely lesser beings, it was more. It was the merciful and forgiving act of a maligned Judge. A Judge and Ruler who was given no grounds for mercy. A Judge, Ruler and Avenger who did, would and will cast the final sentence against unbelieving rebellion: eternal damnation.

This is not a popular message. Unbelief would rather watch the miming of the church than hear the thundering of the Law. It would embrace the psuedo-gospel of "God-loves-everyone-hoping-to-send-them-all-to- heaven" instead of hearing that God actually intends on sending insurgents to their rightful place.

Yet, this other side of Christmas is crucial. And it makes sense.Human judges will dispense justice according to the rule of law. How much more will the Great All-Seeing Judge of the Universe dispense justice? And so, Adam was judged, as was all mankind. But that is not what people want to hear during this season of joy.

However, it is exactly what they need to hear. And it is what we need to hear as well. The Incarnation is intelligible only in a Christian framework that takes sin seriously and rebellion as deserving of death. There was nothing in mankind to bring amnesty from God the judge. There was everything in mankind to repel Him. This is the reason why the coming of the Son of God is amazing: we deserved eternal damnation instead of life.

With the truth of the other side of Christmas, the Church can stop miming and start singing aloud with joy the clear message of why the Messiah became a man. And then Denver will know what the "big deal" is all about.

Comments

  • xexon 4 years ago

    What Messiah?

    Messiahs are ALWAYS regional. Not meant for export. There has never been, nor will there ever be, a world Messiah.

    Christmas is dying a religious death because the religion that it comes from is also dying.

    You've wheezed off a master that does not know you for 2000 years now.

    The energy left over from him put you in orbit around the world, but that energy is now almost gone. And like a dying satellite, you're falling out of orbit and heading for the earth that created you in the first place.

    Sin? I know nothing of sin. I only know of actions committed without consciousness.

    Christmas is best left to those who will enjoy it the most. The children. I look the other way for their sake, not your's.

    x

  • Profile picture of Shawn Mathis
    Shawn Mathis 4 years ago

    Xexon: when hitler killed his millions and Stalin more, when the terrorists killed on 9/11 those were people "without consciousness" or were they evil?

  • xexon 4 years ago

    Without consciousness.

    People who are fully awake "enlightened", feel what other people feel. They can do them no harm without feeling that pain themselves.

    People who are self centered, cannot.

    Only the heart can feel. It can telescope itself outward from you to feel beyond your personal space. Other people and things.

    The brain, which is responsible for bad behavior, can only calculate and weigh one thing against another to determine worth based upon what the 5 senses send it. It's first priority is self preservation.

    It is the ruler of this world. You need look no further than the evening news to see it's effect upon humanity.

    Holidays like Christmas give people an excuse to get away from it's influence if for only a day.

    To the God realized, everyday is Christmas. No excuse needed.

    x