Words to Dwell On
Three words that sum up what we’ve tended to miss about the Christmas story are sacrifice, honesty, and glory.
Sacrifice is an important word to remember because you have to look in the manger and know that baby came to do one thing: he came to die. Everything in his life would marked by sacrifice. Think of the body of the baby Jesus being made uncomfortable by the ends of pieces of straw. Even that was a sacrifice that God was willing, in the person of his son, to endure. Every day was sacrifice leading to the ultimate sacrifice. Christmas, in ways, is a deeply sad story of this one who would suffer because he loved us and there was no other way.
The Christmas story confronts us and the falsehood that we're okay and we can manage our lives.
The second word to remember is honesty. The Christmas story confronts us and the falsehood that we're okay and we can manage our lives. If we were okay and we could manage our lives, God would have never gone to this extent. This is a deeply humbling story. I'm such a complete mess, so terribly broken that God would need do this radical thing. You've got to allow yourself to be honest about what this story tells you about you.
Finally, we need to remember glory. What is more glorious than the love and grace of God demonstrated by this story? You almost can't wrap your brain around the love that would motivate God to do this thing for us—rebels that we are, arrogant as we are, lost as we are, foolish as we are. God didn’t say, Enough already. I've had it with you. Instead he says, No, I'm going to send my son, and subject him to terrible things so that you can be reunited to me again.
Think sacrifice, think honest, and think glory, and you're getting at the core of this story.
We must be careful to guard the true meaning of Christmas, keeping it from becoming about busyness and bondage to creation.
Christmas is a wonderful opportunity to share the hope of Christ with people in your life—both in word and deed.
Be intentional to focus on the gospel this Christmas. Here are some suggestions for how to do this in your marriage this year.