Summary: Gleaning some obvious and some "not-so-obvious" lessons from the First Christmas!!!
IT’S ELEMENTARY??? WELL, MOSTLY !!!
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson went on a camping trip. After sharing a good meal and a bottle of Petrie wine, they retire to their tent for the night.
At about 3 AM, Holmes nudges Watson and asks, "Watson, look up into the sky and tell me what you see?"
Watson said, "I see millions of stars."
Holmes asks, "And, what does that tell you?"
Watson replies, "Astronomically, it tells me there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo. Theologically, it tells me that God is great and we are small and insignificant. Horologically, it tells me that it's about 3 AM. Meteorologically, it tells me that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you, Holmes?"
Holmes retorts, "Someone stole our tent.”
While it may not have cost much for Dr Watson to miss the obvious, it can cost us everything, if we miss out on basic Christmas related facts (some very obvious and some less obvious but nevertheless very significant ones’)...
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life...John 3:16
If Christmas doesn’t remind us that God loves us infinitely, we are missing out on the obvious. Let do some quizzing...pray, tell me (sic...Sherlockian colloquy) the opposites of the words...love and obedience respectively...well, do I hear ...hatred and disobedience. Good, folks, you have got it right alright.
Now consider this Biblical portion...
“If we love God, we will do whatever he tells us to....” -2 John 1:6
What would be the opposite of it...simple...hmmm... elementary...
“If we hate God, we would disobey Him”
What Adam and Eve did when they originally sank their teeth into the forbidden is just that...when a man sins is heart is hardened to the point of hatred against his Creator and Eternal benefactor.
We the descendants of Adam and Eve all “genetically” inherit that “hatred” for God and His ways. Every one of us are born with innate sense of “independence” from the very One who has created us. Oh for some, seasonal affair with God may be convenient but a lifetime of continual obedience,,,Boy, it’s scary for them. Then there are some who are “indifferent” to Him, masking all the time their hatred to the very One, they owe their lives to.
It is precisely into this World of proven “God-haters” (Rebellious First parents through murderous Cain to spiralling violence and corruption of Noah’s days to the rebellious Babel Tower project...etc etc) that God sent His Son. Jesus never said in the Gospels, He was born for a purpose but always employed the word “sent” meaning His life did not begin merely on First Christmas rather He was alive from the “very beginning” (John 1:1, 8:58, 17:5).
Oh yes, it is so easy to love when there is reciprocal response but while we were yet sinners (His enemies) Jesus came and died for us (Romans 5:10). Talk of a hero dying for a villain...oh yes, Gospel is the only story where a “Holmes” would die selflessly for a fiendish Professor Moriarty in order to reform the latter!!!
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.-Phillippians 2:5-9
Another truth clear as a crystal. Minus Christ’s immeasurable humility, first Christmas would not have come about. Well, first Christmas symbolized merely Christ’s first step towards the Cross. Wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), Jesus paid the price on our behalf. God’s perfect character of holiness required that price be paid for our sins -not merely issue a ticket for our transgressions but issue a death penalty itself- at the same time His infinite love demanded that man be set free from that condemnation.
Welcome to a true story which in a small way mirrors Christ’s eventual propitiatory act of dying on the Cross after condescending to be a mere human...
On Oct. 4 2014, Officer Ben Hall of Emmett Township, Mich., received a call to investigate a car in which, reportedly, an unsecured child was observed. It turned out that a poor widow (mother of the child) was driving that car when Officer Hall went for investigation.
There, instead of writing her a ticket which he was officially bound to do, on seeing her plight of limited means, he purchased a booster seat for her daughter. The grateful mother made sure that Hall's actions were recognized, posting to the Emmett Township Police Department's website her thanks.