Summary: If Christmas never happened we would never fully understand God and his love for us. Evangelistic message for Christmas Eve.
Jesus cleared up faulty images that people have about God. For example: In Jesus’ day non-Jews had messed up views of God. They didn’t even believe there was one Creator God, they believed in multiple gods and goddesses (Zeus, Aphrodite) who they believed were simply more powerful version of themselves, which meant they were prideful, deceitful, full of lust, vengeful, . It’s a pretty sad situation if the god or goddess you worship is morally just as bad as we are. Today there are some pretty messed up claims about God too. There are people like Shirley McLain, who believes she is god, I am god, you are god, we are all god. If you want to see God, look at each other. Personally, I find this pretty discouraging to think myself or Shirley McLain is God, if this is true I think we’re in trouble. People who are into Star Wars theology think God is some kind of force or energy. Again pretty disappointing if you ask me.
Maybe you have image of what God is like. God is like a judgmental Father waiting for you to mess up so he can punish you. God is like Santa Claus who wants to grant your every wish, just pray and God will do everything you want, as long as you’ve been a good boy or girl. God is like a gentle old grandfather who loves everybody and doesn’t really care what we do. God is some remote being out there somewhere on the edge of the universe somewhere, who really doesn’t care about us very much. Like Bette Midler sings, “God is watching us from a distance.” There are lot of images people have about what God is like.
But what the Christmas story reminds us is that we don’t have to wonder what God is like because the Bible says Jesus is God come in the flesh. Jesus himself even said, “Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father (John 14:9).” It’s hard to imagine looking at a defenseless baby to think somehow this is the very presence and glory of God had come to earth, but that is what the Bible teaches us. So what does that teach us about God?
a. God is near
Because of Jesus’ birth we know that God is not some distant deity living on the edge of the universe looking at us through a super Hubble telescope, but a God who is near us. Jesus’ title was Immanuel, which means “God is with us.” Through Jesus we know that God is right here. God is with us as we worship. God listens to us as we pray. God is with us when we sleep, at work, at play, wherever we are at whether we are aware of God’s presence or not, whether we feel God’s presence, God is near.
Jesus told his disciples he would be with us always. Jesus even promised those who follow him that he would not only be present with them, but would actually live within them through his Spirit. You can’t get any closer than that.
b. God is Love
Some people think God is out to get them, or to punish them for their wrongdoing, but Jesus shows us otherwise. Through Jesus we see God’s incredible love for us. The Son of God was willing to give up his throne in heaven to take on a frail human body, to be born a helpless infant into humble situations (stable, manger), to grow up and endure temptation, to face the evil and injustices of this world (Phil. 2:6-11). Why? Because of God’s incredible unfailing love. God did not have to come to us, but he chose to come of his own free will because he knew there was no other way to make our world right.