If you could do one thing to change the world at Christmas, what would it be?
Make political parties work together? Cure cancer? Feed the hungry? Reconcile broken families? End terrorism? Take away Donald Trump’s phone to prevent nuclear war?
Christmas says that in order to address the problems of the world, God chose to become part of the world. He chose to come and be present with us personally.
In Jesus Christ, the holy God becomes a human being. Christmas is as simple as that, yet as profound and full of mystery as that. God exercises his power by becoming a powerless human baby.
We could say the baby Jesus is a ‘dual citizen’ – he has both divine and human origins. He is God and man, God in human flesh and blood.
In Australia, recently that would disqualify Jesus from serving us, but being both divine and human means Jesus can truly help us. Since he identifies with our struggles and weaknesses, our fears and temptations, loneliness and rejection, our suffering and our dying, he knows what it means to be one of us. Since he is also God, he can actually make a difference, he has the power to change and save the world.
Jesus could have chosen to change the world for good any way he liked, but he chose to live among us in humility, calling out hypocrisy and injustice, challenging religion and its abuses, but extending undeserved forgiveness, love and grace to everyone. He gave us glimpses of a different life and a different way of life, and he chose to literally give his life for the world, in order to save us.
We might want a God who waves his hand so that good things come our way and everything bad goes away. That’s not Christmas. Christmas says God comes here to us in Jesus as one of us. He is ‘with us’ in everything, both the good and the bad.
God’s way of changing the world is one heart at a time, as we come to know and believe in who Jesus is and what he came to do for us. This ‘down to earth saviour’ has my faith. I pray that he will have yours too.
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