From the desk of…
by Philip Swyers, Commissioner –
Christmas! My favorite time of the year. And I trust as Salvationists, we all embrace the magnificent story as given to us in Luke’s gospel.
The world is happy to let Jesus Christ be a baby in a manger, but not as willing to let him be the sovereign King and Lord that he came to be. Yet that is the central truth of the Christmas story––the Child of Christmas is God.
Many people, who would otherwise gladly embrace Jesus as Messiah, do not want him to be God. They will walk with him as the Son of David, but not as the Son of God. They don’t mind celebrating the birth of the baby, but they don’t want to hear about the Lord of Lords. They sing of his nativity, but brazenly reject his authority. They adore him as an infant, but will not pay him homage as the God Man. They can tolerate the trappings of Christmas, a manger, shepherds, wise men, Joseph and Mary, but cannot bear the advent of God in human flesh. Consequently, the world ignores the core of the Christmas truth. And instead of honoring Jesus at Christmas, they actually mock him.
Some say he was just a good teacher, but good teachers don’t claim to be God. Some say he was merely a good example, but good examples don’t mingle with prostitutes and sinners. Some say he was a madman, but madmen do not speak the way he spoke. Some say he was a crazed fanatic, but crazed fanatics don’t draw children to themselves or attract men of intellect like Paul or Luke to be their followers. Some say he was a religious phony, but phonies don’t rise from the dead. Some say he was only a myth, but myths don’t set the calendar for history.
Jesus has been called the ideal man, an example of love, the highest model of religion, the foremost pattern of virtue, the greatest of all men, the finest teacher who ever lived. All of these descriptions capture elements of his character, but they all fall short of the full truth. The apostle Thomas expressed it perfectly when he saw Jesus after the resurrection and exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!”
As we celebrate Christmas this year, may we experience the greatest miracle of all––Jesus became flesh and moved among us. Let us celebrate his lordship in our hearts and in our lives, as we give service in his name to a world that needs our Savior.
Merry Christmas to all!