Summary: Thoughts on Christmas from 2 Corinthians 8:9.
Paul sums up the purpose of Christmas is one word, “grace.”
Someone has pointed out that GRACE could be defined as: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense - All that God is free to do for you and me because of all that Christ has done for us.
He humbled Himself so that we might be exalted.
He left heaven so that we might enter heaven.
He who lives eternally came to die, so that we who were dying eternally might come to live.
Christ was content with a stable when He was born so that we might have a mansion when we die!
Though He was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor, so that we through His poverty might become rich.
1. Though He was rich, yet for our sakes He became poor . . .
The Almighty entered our world, the infinite became finite, and the eternal invaded time.
He did not come to a palace with marble halls and carpeted stairs. No luxurious bed chamber was prepared for His birth.
Cathedral bells failed to toll; bands were silent; no royal choruses burst forth in song. Only the music of Heaven was heard.
Mary wrapped Jesus in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. The Lord Jesus came to a stable, and was laid in a manger.
“He was conceived by the union of divine grace and human disgrace. The King of Kings sleeping in a cow-pen. He who was once surrounded by the glorious stereophonic praise of adoring angels now hears the lowing of cattle, the bleating of sheep, the stammering of bewildered shepherds. He who spoke the universe into being now coos and cries. From the robes of eternal glory to the rags of swaddling clothes.” - Sam Storms
Theologians call it the Incarnation–God in human flesh. The Bible calls Him Immanuel–God with us.
C. S. Lewis put it all in perspective for us when he said:
“The central miracle asserted by Christians is the Incarnation.They say that God became Man. Every other miracle prepares the way for this, or results from this.” - C. S. Lewis
The miracle of the incarnation made possible the miracle of Christ’s sinless life; the miracle of Christ’s sacrificial death; and the miracle of Christ’s spectacular resurrection. All of which has provided the possibility for the greatest miracle of all - the miracle of the new birth.
2. So that we through His poverty might become rich . . .
A rich man was observed by friends to repeatedly pick up any penny he found on the street. This behavior was quite intriguing to his friends for the condition of the penny wasn’t an issue. It could be a shiny and new penny or a dull and dingy one. It never seemed the rich man was too busy or distracted to find a penny and it is doubtful a penny ever missed his gaze. For the rich man, finding a penny was a high priority in his day. Furthermore, friends noticed the rich man was joyful with each new find. He seemed to cherish each penny found as much as his millions in investments.
Finally, curiosity ran its course and a friend asked the rich man: “You are rich beyond measure, so why do you stop whatever you are
doing or wherever you are to pick up a penny? Why would a man with your wealth care so much about a single penny?”
The rich man replied, “Each penny found reminds me of my true worth as a person. Many people during my life viewed me much like a penny. I was often discarded, passed by, left in the change tray or seen as having little value. Then, one day a rich man found me on the street feeling worthless and isolated. Unlike others, he viewed me differently. He saw in me great worth and potential. He promised to give me all he had to make me rich. I truly sensed this man cared for me and was telling me the truth. I believe he wanted to put me back into circulation so I placed my trust in Him. He engraved on my heart what others like me believe today. They are the same words you see engraved on this penny I found in the street, “In God We Trust.” The penny serves as a reminder during my day that my true worth is not in riches but in the One who made me rich. You see my value is not in my possessions but in the One who possesses me.
Conclusion: Christ was born, so we might be born again!
Have you received the gift of the new birth?