Posts Tagged: Christmas advent

Why Did Jesus Come in the First Place? Advent Part IV

Hello to all of Santa’s Helpers! I’ve tried to be so un-naughty this year… I wonder if anyone has noticed my efforts…. Well, regardless, Merry Christmas to all the Busy Shoppers, Candy Makers and Bah-Humbuggers alike. I’m so glad we get to do life together.

This month we’ve looked at the expectations we put on ourselves for Christmas, the provision that God gives for Christmas, and the command to be fearless in the face of our circumstances this Christmas. Part IV of our Advent Series will look at Why Jesus Came to the world at all?


I just surveyed my children, in the midst of the hub-bub why Jesus came in the first place. I was curious if they got the gist. Slam Dunk, they did. They both answered, “to die for our sins on the cross.”

It rolls off the tongue pretty easily, doesn’t it? But seriously, that’s a mouth full.

So let’s take a minute today and unwrap each layer of that statement.

Is it weird to talk about sin at Christmas? Maybe. But I promise to get us through the sin part so we can get to the Love part. The “word” sin can conjure up hell, fire and brimstone sermons, or be relegated as outdated terminology that has lost its meaning in our post-modern culture. But humor me. Let’s give sin a spin.

Sin is a transgression against love. 

Sin is falling short of the call to love your brother as you love yourself, to treat others the way you’d want to be treated, to make anything more ultimate than Love.

Maybe you’ve felt it before- when someone was less than loving with you and it felt bad. When someone faked their affection, and you felt duped. When someone betrayed you for another and you felt the deep pain of rejection. You know what it feels like when someone sins against you and shows you something less than love.

Because we are prone to sin, we fall short of the whole-hearted love we were created to get and give. Instead of choosing true love, we choose more expedient, more glamorous, more tantalizing ways to get our love-fix. These false-love ways make us feel empty, used and alone.

So when the angel announces, “You shall call Him Jesus for He will save His people from their sins,” we realize that sin was just too deep, and just too dark, and just too powerful for us to resolve on our own. We needed God Himself, in human form to help us.

When that heavenly baby was born, we finally had hope beyond our failing human nature. We could be satisfied with God’s perfect love even when the imperfect humans in our life failed us. And we could be forgiven when we ourselves, fell short of the call to love others like Christ loved us.

This last week of Advent, I want to reflect on Jesus’ ultimate reason for coming- to heal us from the wounds sin has left on our hearts, to save us from our selves, and to redeem a weary world from sin.

God’s Singular Message for Christmas: Advent Part III

To the Fanciest Wrappers, the Festive-est Hall Deckers, and the Bargainest Shoppers- how are you? Are you crazy yet, or just teetering on the edge of crazy? It’s easy to get a little crazy this time of year because Expectations Outweigh Ability. Crazy expectations and crazy striving make for crazy feelings. This is the Advent season, so before you lose your ugly on somebody, consider the following:

Crazy originates out of fear- fear of the unknown, fear of disappointing people, fear of insufficiency, fear of rejection, fear of being controlled and fear of failure.

This advent season, I’ve been trying to put myself in the shoes of the original Christmas characters. What was it like to be Zechariah- an old priest unable to have a child. What was it like to be Mary- a pregnant unwed woman carrying the Savior of the World? Or Joseph- pledged to a woman who is carrying a son that is not his and responsible for keeping them safe? What was it like to be the Shepherds- the lowest class of citizen lonely on a hill?

But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard.

— Luke 1:12

The characters in the original Christmas story felt the same feelings we feel. They knew what it felt like to be judged unworthy by the people around them. They knew the shame of inadequacy, and the sting of unanswered prayers. Like us, the people of Christmas knew loneliness and rejection and feeling out of the loop, on the outside, and not good enough to be in the “in crowd.” Lonely, sleepless nights spent worrying “why me,” and “what next,” were as common then as now.

But one message runs through the Christmas story like a river through a dry dessert, and that is “fear not.”

Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.

— Luke 1:30

I’ve found that peace is not fear’s anecdote. No, love is. Love is fear’s opposite. Love is fear’s answer. So when strange or sad things happen to you like being infertile, ostracized, put-upon, misjudged, misunderstood- be sure to listen closely for God’s eternal message… “Don’t Be afraid.” When you read these words or hear them in your own heart, it’s God’s love message to you. He is saying, “You can’t meet everyone’s expectations, or even your own. But don’t be afraid, don’t be crazy, I love you.”

Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.

— Luke 2:10

We can read the story of each character in the Christmas story with joy because we know how it ends. But they didn’t know how it ended. They had to go through the struggle of walking God’s path one step at a time until God fulfilled all of His promises to them. They had to leave the comforts of home. They had to travel to a far-off land without guarantee of provision. They had to get woken up in the middle of the night with God’s next direction. They had to hear from angels in order to know what to do next. 

Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife…

— Matthew 1:20

The message is the same today- Don’t be afraid.

Your prayers have been heard, you’ve found favor with God, there is good news- and it’s for everyone.

Just keep living your life, working your program, and sharing your stuff, 

Don’t be afraid.



My “Relationship Savvy” blog gives you tips, advice, and flippin’ fantastic feel-goods to help with your most difficult relationship challenges.

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