Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Is About Separation, Loneliness and Despair

Christmas is about separation, loneliness and despair.

I know, I sound like a cross between Ebenezer Scrooge and Friedrich Nietzsche. Believe it or not, this is actually a fact that runs throughout the Biblical storyline. Think about it. Why did Jesus have to come in the first place? If God does everything for a specific purpose, surely the birth of Jesus would be no exception.

From the beginning of the Bible we see a story of humans living, from one degree or another, in separation from God. Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden. Moses wasn’t allowed to look fully at the presence of God. David often wondered where God was. The common strand that runs throughout all of these lives is sin. Sin is a falling short of God’s standard of perfect holiness. Our problem is not that we have a few bad habits here and there. Our problem is that we are born with a disease called sin that separates us from our Creator. That’s where the loneliness and despair come in.

Thankfully, the story doesn’t stop there. Jesus allowed himself to be born into a world that would pierce and crush his body. This baby would grow up to know despair. Jesus took on flesh so that he could dwell among other fleshly creatures only to be rejected by them. He knew loneliness. Jesus left his rightful place in heaven to come to earth and endure the wrath of God in our place. God’s Son knew separation.

So Christmas is about separation, loneliness and despair – for Jesus. He would endure these things on behalf of his people. So now, through repentance from our sins and faith in Immanuel, Christmas is about something else too. For the people Jesus came to save, Christmas is about redemption, communion and joy.

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