I am often challenged by the fact that God’s way of doing things often seems to be the opposite of how we do things. Instead of proving himself as ‘King of the Hill,’ our God and Savior chose humility; He abandoned heaven in all its riches and glory. This should completely humble all mankind. “How Many Kings” by Downhere is one of the best original Christmas songs that depicts Christmas through a series of questions.
It’s not unusual that when people disappoint us we begin to dole out love in proportion to their infractions. Afraid of going all in we hold back. In his book The Four Loves¹, C.S. Lewis explains the error of this approach:
Christmas is Jesus stripping himself of the divine nature and opening the door of intimate fellowship between Him and mankind. It wasn’t because we deserve it, but because He loves us. The notion of God’s love descending to us free of charge, no strings attached, seems to go against every instinct of humanity. We are accustomed to finding a catch in every promise, but Christmas is an extravagant demonstration of God’s love and grace with no loopholes to disqualify anyone. In his book, What’s So Amazing About Grace², Philip Yancey quotes Henri Nouwen, “ God rejoices. Not because the problems of the world have been solved, not because all human pain and suffering has come to an end, nor because thousands of people have been converted to Him…praising God for His goodness.” No, God rejoices when He is enough for us. God rejoices when the motivation behind Christmas is for us to be found in Him. Jesus didn’t come to elevate a particular nation or advocate certain affiliations. He came because of you and I.
Our culture naturally makes the leap for what God has given or made available through His son and yet discards God’s desire to walk this journey of life in fellowship with us.
Where else can the world find grace, hope and love like this? Make room this Christmas!
¹ Lewis, C.S. The Four Loves. HarperOne, 1960.
² Yancey, Philip. What’s So Amazing About Grace?. Zondervan, 1997.