Many of us love Christmas. We love the lights, the festivities, and the jovial delight that comes with the season. And as much as I hate to admit it, here in the biting-cold Midwest I even enjoy the snow this time of year, although those pretty flakes can be gone once the New Year rolls around.
But no amount of nostalgia can capture the real power of Christmas: Christ has come for us. He has crossed behind enemy lines to rescue us who have long been slaves of sin, fear, and death. We celebrate Christmas because we celebrate our king becoming vulnerable, becoming weak, humbling himself to bring reconciliation between us and God.
Reconciliation is a wonderful idea when we are the ones that have been fought for, and we are the ones who receive mercy, forgiveness, and restored relationship.
But like Christmas itself, we can become nostalgic about reconciliation rather than really embrace the messy grace and humility that it requires.
We all have work to do reconciling relationships with the people in our lives. Whether it’s a slight irritation with a coworker or a full-on feud over deep wounds, we all have imperfect and broken connections with other humans. But those minor cracks can break, and major brokenness can soon become septic.
If we are to pursue building up the Church, be effective in our evangelism, and experience the true fullness of mercy, grace, and redemption, we cannot ignore broken relationships.
And if we are going to truly say, “Merry Christmas,” then we must adopt the passion of Jesus to step into the awkward, uncomfortable, humbling messiness that is reconciliation.
We are God’s kids. When Jesus came, he didn’t stop at forgiveness; he brought us into full relationship; he brought us home. His life, death, and resurrection acquitted us of our treason, paid the price for our sins in full, and then in his great compassion God stepped victoriously off of the judgment seat and invited us to be his children. And just like I delight when my two little boys are loving each other well, our Heavenly Father rejoices over us as His kids when we have right relationships with one another.
The meaning of Christmas is found in God’s passion for reconciliation, demonstrated through the sending of His son. His joy is the restoration of right relationship between us and himself, as well as between his sons and daughters.
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SOURCE: Christianity Today, Haley Bodine