As a person who, once upon a time, used to be an outsider of the faith, I ask a lot of questions. Something I used to wonder, around Christmas time was… what is the big deal about Jesus birth? I suppose- while on the outside of my faith, I just didn’t get it. I didn’t understand the significance of, as the name Emmanuel spells out for us… “God With Us”. I would imagine others on the outside of a faith might possibly have the same question today, on Christmas Eve.
What is the BIG DEAL? I’ll lean on bigger shoulders than my own for these important words. C.S. Lewis, a great Christian Theologian, wrote about this “Greatest Miracle” as he calls it, in his book, Miracles. (hyperlink added if anyone is interested)
Lewis writes, "The central miracle asserted by Christians is the Incarnation.... Every other miracle prepares for this, or exhibits this, or results from this.... It was the central event in the history of the Earth--the very thing that the whole story has been about… By a miracle that passes human comprehension, the Creator entered his creation, the Eternal entered time, God became human--in order to die and rise again for the salvation of all people. He comes down; down from the heights of absolute being into time and space, down into humanity; down further still ... (to) the womb ... down to the very roots and sea-bed of the Nature He has created. But He goes down to come up again and bring the whole ruined world up with Him"
Well… there it is! The birth of Christ is not just the transition of the Old Testament in to the New Testament- it is the RE-BIRTH of the entire world! God showed up – in person- not just so that He could choose to die for our sin- but to reconcile and draw back to himself--- to correct—to FIX the sin in ALL of creation. “He goes down to come up again and bring the whole ruined world with Him.” This truly is the ‘greatest miracle’ of all… God’s way to bring perfection to a lost humanity and a broken world- through the gift of His OWN life in exchange for ours. Quite literally- the BIGGEST DEAL of all History!
So… “Merry Christmas” is what we say… and what does that mean? It means, “Enjoy the GIFT of your life- and the PROMISE of life eternal- through Christ, our KING. Merry Christmas to you all!