As I was making dinner, my three-year-old wanted some help with a puzzle. Now, this is a new puzzle of the Baby Jesus. (We are very blessed with people in our lives who help point our children to Jesus during a protentional very secular holiday.)
Anyways, she was sitting at the table with all the pieces out and asking for help. The problem- I had no idea what this puzzle was supposed to look like. And… though she is trying hard… she’s three. So, when I gave her advice like what I’d give to the older kids, (do the corners first and find all the edge pieces…) it was not much help. I had to sit down with her and show her what an edge piece is. I had to show her to look at the outline on the background for help. I had to help her see the whole picture in order to fit each piece in.
The fact that this is a Baby Jesus puzzle had my wheels turning. I’m currently going through a study on “The Women of Christmas” by Liz Curtis Higgs with a group of ladies. At our last gathering, we were asked how would you describe Christmas to someone who had no idea who God was?
Wow! That question had an impact on me! And as I sat doing this puzzle of Baby Jesus having no idea how it goes together, I started seeing Christmas as just one piece of the whole story. An important piece. Extremely important. But one piece. Hear me out.
Christmas is the time Christians celebrate Jesus leaving His perfect home in Heaven to come down to earth and be born as a poor, humble, baby boy. The Christmas story itself is actually very short in comparison to the rest of the Gospels. But I believe that is on purpose. We have all we need- a piece of the Gospel. A piece of the puzzle.
But if you just have that piece- God sent His Son to earth as a baby boy, you are missing a whole lot of the story?
Why did He send him? Because the perfect world God created is corrupted with sin and we need a Savior.
Yippy Do- Why does it matter that God’s Son was born? Because this shows us that Jesus was fully man and fully God.
Why does this matter to me? Because that baby in the manger is the One who will take the punishment you deserve, die on the cross, and give you hope by rising from the dead three days later.
See the Gospel starts in the beginning. God created everything, and it was good. Then man fell. Sin entered the world and corrupted it. But God, had a plan to save us from ourselves. And that plan was to send his one and only Son to earth. He would be fully man and fully God. Christmas.
But it doesn’t end there. He would grow up to be a great teacher, preform many miracles, share the good news, and minister to the sinners. Though He never sinned, He took the punishment of death on a cross, so that His blood could cover our sins- past, present, and future sin. Three days later, He rose from the dead- defeating death and giving us all the hope of eternal life.
The Gospel! The Good News! While we were still sinner, Christ came, took our punishment, and saved us from our sins.
Christmas in America is “the most wonderful time of the year.” Everyone is in the giving spirits. Everyone is cheerful (well at least that’s the appearance.) Sometimes, we give into the feel-good atmosphere, and we forget the true meaning of it all. Sometimes… sometimes, we treat Christmas as a secular, commercial holiday.
We are so busy doing what we are supposed to be doing during this time of the year that we forget the Great Commission- Go and make disciples of all nations.
Every day. Including Christmas. Including Easter. Every day is an opportunity to go and make disciples of all nations.
Christmas. Easter. And every day in between. Live those days for your Creator who loved you so much that He sent His One and only Son to be born of a virgin. To live a simple, humble life. To become a teacher, Rabi, and friend to all. To suffer and die on the cross. And to Rise from the dead three days later.
Christmas- it’s a wonderful time of the year. But let’s remember what that means- Jesus came down from Heaven to earth, so He could redeem all of creation. That’s worth celebrating!