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 The “word” sin can conjure up hell, fire and brimstone sermons, or be relegated as outdated terminology that has lost its meaning in our post-modern culture.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.