It Really Happened!1
It Really Happened!
Singing hymns and carols, putting out your nativity scene, conversing with loved ones, friends, neighbors, and co-workers: these are some of the ways we celebrate Christmas. I encourage you and your family as you are enjoying the holiday season to meditate on this thought - it really happened. An angel from God really appeared to Mary. Joseph was really afraid and was really consoled and instructed by an angel. Jesus was really the Son of God born to Mary, a virgin. Jesus was and is really God incarnate (with us in the flesh).
Because of the rise of secularism and materialism, the Biblical account of the coming of the Messiah (the Savior-King) has been mythologized, turned into a fable. Consider this excerpt from the little book, God With Us,
“A little girl came home from Sunday school triumphantly waving a paper. ‘Mommy!’ she said, ‘My teacher says I drew the most unusual Christmas picture she has ever seen!’ The mother studied the picture for a moment and concluded it was indeed a very peculiar Christmas picture. 'This is wonderfully drawn, but why have you made all the people riding on the back of an airplane?’ the mother gently asked. ‘It's the flight into Egypt,’ the little girl said, with a hint of disappointment that the picture's meaning was not immediately obvious. ‘Oh,' the mother said cautiously. ‘Well, who is this mean- looking man at the front?’ ‘That's Pontius, the Pilot,’ the girl said, now visibly impatient. 'I see. And here you have Mary and Joseph and the baby,’ the mother volunteered. Studying the picture silently for a moment, she summoned the courage to ask, 'But who is this fat man sitting behind Mary?’ The little girl sighed, 'Can't you tell? That's Round John Virgin!’” God With Us, John MacArthur, Jr.
We laugh at the little girls' confusion but this scenario is closer to reality than some of us would care to admit. “The Christmas Story” has become, to our culture, a mere fable. It is ranked with “Frosty the Snow Man” or “Santa Clause is Coming to Town.” Christians must celebrate Christmas in a way that recognizes the birth Jesus Christ, our Savior. The Christmas Story is a historical narrative. It is in the Bible. It is what our faith is all about. It declares that "even while we were yet sinners God loved us” and sent His Son to die for us.” Do we fully reckon that it really happened; that these were not merely poor people who had to have a baby in an unfortunate place. On the contrary, he was God of very God come in the flesh to dwell among men and to pay for sin with his life. I firmly believe that if we understand this truth, it will change the way we view Christmas. I do not mean that we will not celebrate it any longer but that it will be a celebration of worship and opportunity to share the Gospel.
My prayer for you this Christmas is that your faith in the Savior of the World will be renewed, as you ponder the thought that the Savior is alive and reigning ~ he is real. And that you may realize afresh what Peter mentions in his book (2 Peter 1:16), "For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. (ESV)." In other words, Peter said, we are not following fairy tales and fables but the living God and His living Son, Jesus Christ. Friends, it really happened! Have you believed in Jesus Christ?
Merry Christmas With Our Love,
Pastor Scott & Lori
* 1998, revised 2003, Coggins Courier revised, 2018