As we think of the Christian significance of Christmas, we have some many images that come into our heads. We think of the words of the Christmas carols and shepherds and angels and wise men and a baby in a manger. These images that have been engrained in our heads by our culture can obscure the most important fact about what happened at Christmas: Jesus left the comfort and honor he enjoyed in heaven to come to us. He is Immanuel, God with us!
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
Why did he do it? He did it for us. At the heart of the Christmas story is reconciliation. He came to restore the relationships that were broken when sin came into the world. We are separated from God and the only thing that could restore the relationship was God himself, coming into our world at Christmas.
For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. Col. 1:19-20
In the Lion, the Witch and the wardrobe, C.S. Lewis portrays the price of this reconciliation beautifully:
“When a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backward.”
That’s what Jesus did for us. He was killed in our place, for our sin so that death is conquered. And that began with his coming to us at Christmas. Because he came, we are reconciled to him. And because we are reconciled, we now have the responsibility of carrying this message of reconciliation to a world that desperately needs it.
In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. 2 Cor. 5:19-20
We are reconciled to God because of what Jesus began at Christmas. No wonder we sing Joy to the World! But the world can only know that joy when they hear the good news. As we celebrate this Christmas, may we commit ourselves in a deeper way to sharing this message to those around us and to those around the world who haven’t yet heard this great news. And as God leads you to share this message with the world, let us know how we can help you to pray, give or GO as his ambassador of reconciliation.