“Christmas is the end of thinking you are better than someone else,
because Christmas is telling you that you could never get to heaven on your own. God had to come to you.” – Tim Keller

We live in an arrogant world in arrogant times. “It’s all about me” is the self-talk of fallen humanity. “Me-first” is measure of relationships. “I deserve the very best” is the ambition of our actions. Humility is viewed with suspicion. Entitlement trumps sacrificial servanthood. The Golden Rule is considered the philosophy of losers and the naive.

Twenty centuries ago Paul wrote these words explaining the meaning of the first Christmas:

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5.6-8

The first sin was that of idolatry, to replace our Creator God with ourselves. To be our own God. Twenty centuries later, humankind continues to pursue this lie with deadly results on our planet and its people. Christmas was the First Strike that God launched to to set things right again.

And it came, ironically, through the humble instrument of a baby in a borrowed manger of rough-hewn wood in the presence of the “least of these.”

This is what Christians affirm and celebrate when we celebrate Christmas.

© 2014 by Stephen L Dunn
Permission is given to reprint this post as long as it is not included in material that is for sale, that it is reproduced in its entirety including the copyright notice, and that a link is provided to this blog.


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