Being Christmas (Love, pt 3)

Posted By: Tim Mannin

How would Jesus respond to Christmas today? 

This is a little bit of a scary question. I’ve thought about this question many times...How would Jesus respond to the modern day Christmas season? I imagine many of us would assume that he might not like what Christmas has become.  He may not be a big fan of a few things like Black Friday, A Wonderful Life (such an overrated Christmas movie), or fruitcake. Sure there are a few things he might not participate in, but I think he would fully embrace parts of what this season provides. I imagine he would recognize the opportunity that exists during this time of the year to come into contact with people that are hard to come by other times of the year. I think he would take full advantage of the fact that people are more open and willing to consider Christ during this season.

Macaulay Culkin, Home Alone

Macaulay Culkin, Home Alone

Let me share an idea with you that is captured by a simple phrase…Being Christmas. What if we didn’t just experience Christmas, enjoy Christmas, profit from Christmas, get poor from Christmas, or get tired from Christmas? What if we could actually BE Christmas? 

Clearly, Jesus was and still is the embodiment of Christmas “being in the very nature of God, he made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant.” As obvious as it may be to each of us that Christmas can easily become something that it shouldn’t — we must get real about it occasionally and tell one another to stop doing, experiencing, and loving Christmas – but instead, It’s time for us to BE CHRISTMAS! There are many faces and characters of Christmas. We have Santa, elves, reindeer, the Grinch, Frosty, Scrooge, and who could forget Macaulay Culkin.

In the middle of all the Christmas craziness we know better…right? We know that Jesus — as the old cliché goes — IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON!

So, how would Jesus respond to Christmas today?

The same way he responded to everything. With the deepest, most humble, and reckless love the world has ever seen. The greatest gift the world has ever known is God’s gift of Jesus in this world. It’s the gift of the gospel…the Good News…God’s redemptive plan for us. Jesus responded to the people who had forgotten what it meant to love and live for God with love. Jesus responded to the people who were needy, angry, Godless, desperate, full of sin, broken, and even religious with…love.

Check out these words from the Apostle John (1 John 4:7-19).

"7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19 We love because he first loved us."

I think we all know how Jesus would respond to Christmas…so how should we respond?

How do we do things like 1 John says, to love because he first loved us?
We have a few days until Christmas…how can we respond as he would?
Here are a few people to consider finding intentional ways to Be Christmas to.
    - How can you be Christmas to your family
    - How can you be Christmas to a stranger?
    - How can you be Christmas to your neighbor?
    - How can you be Christmas to a friend?
   - How can you be Christmas to someone you need to forgive?

Do something this year to love in a way that honors Christ and points someone to Christ and his gift to the world.

May we bring life to our city by loving God and living the gospel.