We are into the Christmas season and, as usual, we add a number of extra events to our already busy daily schedules. We shop for gifts, plan meals and get-togethers with loved one, and attend Christmas parties and Christmas concerts. This year there will be some changes to these festive events and activities due to COVID-19. However, we will still be busy and active nonetheless.
In the midst of the added events and activities let us not forget the reason for the celebration we call Christmas. You know the message: God so loved us that He wanted a personal relationship with each one of us. However, our sinful nature and our sinful actions separated us from Him. So, He became one of us – we call Him Jesus – and lived without sin. He died on the Cross of Calvary paying the penalty for our sins. Thus paying the debt we could not pay and making a way for us to have a close encounter with and relationship with God the Father.
To enter into this relationship we must sense the conviction of the Spirit… convicting us of sin, righteousness and judgment. We then respond with godly sorrow — sorry we offended a holy God — and you repent and ask for His forgiveness. When received you become a new creature in Christ and are given the gift of eternal life. Biblically the gift of eternal life is the supernatural ability to have a personal, intimate, love relationship with God the Father and Jesus whom He sent.
This was the focus of the first Christmas. Emmanuel — God with us! God bringing salvation and deliverance; forgiveness and freedom. This is what we are celebrating. But, it is more than that. Much more.
Jesus came to “seek and save the lost” (Luke19:10). God does not just call an individual. The Christian faith is more than you and Jesus and personal salvation. He called a people to Himself. He wants a people who will fellowship with Him. A priesthood of all believers who will minister to Him and for Him. And these people are called to fulfill the call that was upon Jesus’s life. We are to continue His purpose — to seek and save the lost. This is why Jesus commanded (and did not suggest) that we, the Church, “go into every nation and people group and share the Gospel of the Kingdom” (Matthew 28:18-19; Matthew 24:14).
So Christmas is more than a celebration of the birth of the Christ Child. Christmas is more than God becoming man — deity taking on humanity — and living among us. Christmas is more than God loving us so much that He gave His Son to die for us. Christmas is a reminder that Jesus was born in Bethlehem because God came to “seek and save the lost.” And, that we must continue that task and tell others – all others – about the good news that “unto us a Child has been born and a Saviour given.”
And there are no shortage of opportunities and places to go. Yes, all the easy ones have been taken. But, there are still 6,5000 unreached people groups in the world. About 2 billion people in the world don’t have a Christian friend or any access to the saving knowledge of the gospel. So, we are called to live the mission and go to every place God gives us the privilege of going. And, this mission, of course, starts at home but extends much further as we “go into all the world.”
This is the fullness of the Christmas message that “a child has been born, a King has been given.” As members of the King’s kingdom we are called to “go” and expand the kingdom bringing His light into the darkness.