For me christmas is a time of great rejoicing.. Indeed the whole year is for rejoicing as the cause of joy is perennial. Yet we sometimes get caught up in doing life and even doing church and somehow do less of God Himself. But i always challenge myself to rethink the incarnation. Christians believe something very fascinating, that at one point in human history God the Creator became a human being not by some act of immediate transformation the way one would change into a rat, a cat and change back into a human being; but by birth; being born as a baby. And go through the whole human experience of life to eventually depart the earth back to His heavenly glory after redeeming mankind.
It has always struck me that this was the distinguishing feature of the christian faith to which one cannot possibly be indifferent. If one believes it, then surely it must constantly bring overwhelming gladness, amazement, astonishment, delight and gratitude. It must surely inspire, require more than verbal or unconscious allegiance, but a radical commitment to this God who loved such as to take on such a humble form and undergo as a human atrocious punishment, humiliation and pain that was due to us, but that He vicariously took on Himself to pave the way for us to be once again in right relationship with Him. Awesome!
It is a thing so astonishing that but for the hardness of the human heart would, in the acknowledgement of the truth of it, inspire worship, submission, admiration and awe. Do we truly believe what we claim to believe? It is the reason that non practising Christian has always seemed to me to be totally incongruous. It is akin to saying ‘I am a fool’; i have seen and believed something of infinite value but i choose to neglect it. And the injonction of the writer of Hebrews comes to mind, ‘how can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation’?
Let us not neglect so great a salvation. In the midst of the gift giving, must we not contemplate the greatest gift of all, the gift of God Himself to us, offering forgiveness, offering a new beginning, offering salvation, offering reconciliation, offering joy and offering peace. He has made us an offer we cannot refuse, when we take the time to ponder it. Pondering it brings for some the beginning of a new life of peace with God as they receive Him and believe in His name as the apostle John puts it. For others it brings a renewal of their faith, a rekindling of the fire, the joy and the passion, and for all a firm commitment to live a life that pleases Him. That for me is the beauty of Christmas. I wish you a thinking Christmas.
(i reread this article from a christmas past, enjoyed it tremendously and decided to republish it for your enjoyment)