Is Christmas Our Fault?
The Christmas season is one of the best times of the year. The anticipation begins shortly after Halloween and we cling to it, some of us, until mid-January. It’s a season that reminds us that productivity has its best shot when we slow down, eat together, give each other gifts, and enjoy the presence of our family and friends; all in the comfort of stretchy sweatpants.
Christmas seems to be the holiday for the artists, dreamers, and those who are ready for a change. It comes with our favorite coffee drinks sipped over conversations with our favorite people. Who doesn’t love conversations that linger longer than a normal “productive day?” Additionally, I don’t think you will ever find more people singing songs, about Jesus, than you would during Christmas. We sing for many different reasons: tradition, family, anticipation, etc.
Consider the lyrics that are freely played during our November – December commutes:
- Long lay the world in sin and error pining Till he appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
- Jesus Lord, at Thy birth.
- Mary did you know? When you kiss your little baby, you kissed the face of God.
- The dead will live again.
A few years ago, I found myself in another Christmas Eve service and singing these wonderful lyrics. I was holding my little candle, standing, and singing along with the congregation. Then I heard a voice; not in a creepy way, but in a Field of Dreams way. Ok, so maybe it was creepy. The question I heard, in my head, was this:
“Is Christmas our fault?”
It was a question I tried to brush off but it kept interrupting my singing. It was one of those questions that forces you to pause and almost leaves you in a trance.
After all, why was I singing worship songs about and to a baby? This baby just wasn’t “away in a manger” or “sleeping in heavenly peace.”
This baby was my sin offering.
Christmas, as it turns out, is our fault. This baby that lay defenseless, in a manger, was a visual reminder that my sin cost my God something. It cost Him something no parent should ever have to offer. While presents, winter breaks, and family time are great, it should not have been like this. I should have been faithful to my first love. Instead I went out and chased after lovers less wild than Jesus. Christmas should have never happened because I should have never walked away. I did.
In light of this heavy truth, God gives an offering, on my behalf, that allows me to live. This very same baby that I’m worshiping and singing songs to, is my only hope. Yes, we should feel the weight of this offering. Our sin cost Him dearly.
While Christmas is our fault, Jesus made Christmas His responsibility.
1. The responsibility of telling us how a relationship, with the Father, would work.
John 1:1-3 tells us Jesus was with God in eternity past. This speaks to the intimacy Jesus had with the Father before He ever made Himself available in a manger. In other words, Jesus was “face to face” with the Father. Maybe this is the kind of relationship God wants with us. Maybe He wants us to be as close to us as the Christmas Eve candle I was holding and maybe I was supposed to keep my eyes on Him the way a room, full of candles, can cause someone to gaze into each flame.
2. The responsibility of being our redemption.
Jesus will become what got us into trouble (Sin) to get us out of trouble (His righteousness). This is a truth I have never forgotten when I heard it from my seminary professor. The payment is accepted because Jesus is everything like us and nothing like us all wrapped up in one manger.
3. The responsibility of continually telling the story.
Jesus told His church that Christmas was one of the most critical aspects to understanding ultimate reality.
2 John 7 states: “Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.”
What we think and say about Christmas has incredible implications. This Christmas, may you realize or remember that Christmas is our fault, but Jesus made Christmas His responsibility.
Your sins are going to be forgiven.
Further Reading: John 1:1-14, 1 John 1:1-3, 1 John 2:22-23, 1 John 4:2-3, 1 John 5:1, 1 John 5:5