Merry Christmas …

Merry Christmas! For many, that means a day filled with presents, food, and football. For others it means a lot of travel and more meals than you could ever eat. Still others will be experiencing a quieter, more reflective holiday.

Jesus’ birth was an amazing turning point in history – the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. It’s clear that Jesus’ example, teachings, and redemptive sacrifice changed everything.So why did he come? Although there is so much more to it, the basics of what Jesus’ life meant to us are summarized nicely in Romans 3:22-24. I love the way Eugene Peterson paraphrases those verses in The Message:

The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.

We cannot forget the simple and profound power of God’s act that we celebrate today. Jesus’ birth put in motion a solution we desperately needed. So when you see the tiny baby in that nativity today, remember not just Christ’s birth, but the whole story. Christ came, lived, died, and rose to provide a way for us. Because of that, his birth, life, death and resurrection should also change how we live.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is true worship.” Romans 12:1 (TNIV)

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