Summary: Christmas, Christs Birth and the meaning behind the Christmas story
I once heard tell of a young man who stood face to face and challenged his father with the accusation “when did you ever do anything for anyone but yourself”.
Another instance and a child cries out to his Father “we’re not friends anymore”, another time more heartbreakingly “you don’t love me anymore”.
None of these things where true of course, but in the heat of the argument or a moment of resentment things can often be said that shouldn’t, things that we know to be untrue.
It may amuse you that there I stood, some time ago, and my young four year old son should say to me that he no longer wanted to be my friend, not only that but he might suggest in his upset, that even for a moment I didn’t love him. Heartbreaking even to think about it isn’t it really?
It’s often true to say that man is a resentful creature isn’t it? That has often been seen to be our lot since the human race in Adam first fell.
How many Fathers and Mothers amongst you could help but smile with memory at similar such recollections. How many Grandparents have consoled and reminded their own of similar incidents as only time and experience allows?
How many remember being that very child and blush with embarrassment at what you said so foolishly so long ago.
The very foolishness of it all. The intellectual might add, the impetuousness of youth!
We resent discipline so often don’t we; we resent being told what to do and how to go about doing it. And we lash out so often against authority, rightly or wrongly, with such indifference, so often.
This was not so of our Lord, this could not be said of Jesus. He came not as some at the time imagined he would, a great leader of armies, a great warrior, or as great law and authority challenger. No great physical deliverer from the authority of the mighty Roman Empire was evident here, as some expected.
Rather he came as one who was obedient to the law of the land, he did not oppose the authority of the time, he didn’t rise up against the current rulers of his day, he didn’t resent them rather he subjected himself to them.
He came in humility lived a life of servitude to others, was subject to the laws of common men in all that he ever did.
He was circumcised on the eighth day following his birth, as Jewish law required him to be, he took no easy way out in the affairs of men, he was fully subject to the laws, even the circumstances of his birth and all that that entails reflect this fact.
The angels we read appeared to the shepherds, to common men, despised perhaps for the job that they did, common men about their business, a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying Glory be to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men. Peace and good will the reconciliation was now in progress, man could now be reconciled, no time for fear but rejoicing for what was now possible and what was to come. Messiah, promised one was born; the message was and is rejoice.
In another instance we can read here in scripture in Mathews Marks and Lukes accounts if we look, how he answered those who would seek to trick him into perpetrating some act of lawless behaviour. You’re a man of God, the question was posed, is it therefore lawful for us to pay tribute to Caesar, and the answer, show me your money, whose image and inscription is upon it, give unto Caesar that which is Caesars and unto God that which is Gods.
This was our Lord right through wasn’t it, seeing right into the hearts and minds of sinful men, that is why our Lord lived as he did, not born as of one of position or stature, to be in an influential position, to have it easier than the rest of us would, no that was never to be the case He did not bask in his own glory or use his divine power and authority to make his earthly journey an easier one. He truly came to reconcile us with God to bring about a peace with the Father.
We are, you and I, with the rest of the human race, by our nature and inherent sinful nature unfit to stand in the presence of a Holy and Righteous God, we shan’t stand on the judgement day resting on our own worthiness.
Our Lord was born in to a sinful world that’s true and evident enough as we read through scripture, but we must understand that the stain of sin, which we all inherit from birth, was never upon him, his conception was not of man but of the Holy Spirit. He was and remains unique and singular in his sinless ness.