“Nativity” provided by “JohnsonFamily2003” – flickr

What in the world is Christmas all about?  A friend of mine sometimes joyously refers to it as, “The Incarnation Celebration”.  What – you may ask – is the Incarnation?  The word incarnation defined means: a person who embodies in the flesh a deity, spirit, or abstract quality.  In other words, GOD TOOK ON FLESH!  HE BECAME A MAN!  WOW!  How humbly he came though, not with huge celebration or a video premier, but chose to begin his humanity in the womb of a young virgin named Mary.

His young cries were first raised from a stable below the stars.  Angels visited shepherds and proclaimed his coming.  Wealthy kings travelled and brought gifts from afar, all to behold – God in the flesh.  He was no longer free to wander across the universe but chose for a season to make earth his home.  From Bethlehem where he was born, to Calvary where he died was less than 10 miles.  Why would he come and live such a confined life on such a big planet?

He came because of his love, because he was sent on a rescue mission – sent by his father.  John 3:16 paints the clearest picture for us:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

God created us to live eternally with him but through our disobedience, we became sinful; and as a result, death – spiritual and physical – came into the world.  That’s what “perishing” means.

He came with a two-fold purpose:

  1. To live a sinless life and satisfy the precepts of the law
    • John 8:28 So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. 29 And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.” 
    • Pastor Steve Cassarino put it like this: “He got 100% on the exam of righteousness”
  2. To die a sacrificial death and fulfill the penalty of the law
    • 2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Jesus became our substitute to live a life we could not live and to die a death we deserved.  When we place our trust in Jesus – God in the flesh – we receive his righteous life as our own, and his payment of sin on our behalf and that is what “Joy to the World” is all about.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heav’n and nature sing,
And heav’n and nature sing,
And heav’n, and heav’n, and nature sing.

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

Here’s a little instrumental version you can sing along with…

Merry Christmas from the weak & the few

: )~

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