Born to Die

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, You are the reason I worship. You are the Savior of my life and I want to praise You along with the angels. It is astounding that You desire a relationship with me, a poor sinful being. But Your Word is clear; that is exactly what You want. So please enable that belief in me through the power of Your Spirit and bring me ever closer to Your heart. In Your name I pray. Amen.

Read: Romans 3:21-26

Thoughts: The Christmas holiday has taken on a life of its own in our culture. And it would seem that very little of that life has anything to do with the Christ Child. Because of the inundation of media we have seen this holiday taken over by shopping, decorations, and Santa Claus. It’s almost like a machine that is grinding out tinsel and garland and we can’t find the off switch. Even those who don’t know Christ are caught up in the hype and probably wouldn’t be able to give you a reason why they are a part of the machine.

Then we read a passage like Romans 3 and we are brought back into sharp focus as to what this whole celebration is actually about. It’s all fairly simple and straight forward. God created a perfect universe filled with His love and presence. We messed it up and brought sin into perfection. Because of His love and presence, He chose to redeem us from that sin and in order to meet the demands of His holy justice a punishment had to be meted out to pay for our sin. That punishment fell to His own Son and the price was paid. This Christmas celebration is the result of God’s miraculous work.

So why all the hype? Why all the distraction from the simple story? Because the truth is horrifying. The truth has nothing to do with tinsel and presents. The truth has nothing to do with shopping or waiting in line (for days!!!) to get the best price on a TV. The truth has to do with the fact that we are wretched sinners in desperate need of a Savior. And remarkably, miraculously, fantastically, that salvations lies in a manger where animals go for food and water in the form of a human baby. God comes down in quiet strength and brings the one and only thing we truly need – deliverance from our sin. Is that worth celebration? Absolutely. But maybe we lost track of the quiet truth in the midst of our craziness and a reminder of why we celebrate is always in order. A somber passage like this one from Romans serves just that purpose. We are brought up short by the reality of our need and all the sleigh bells and cookies in the world cannot fill the hole that sin creates; only the sacrifice of the Child can make right what we have made wrong.

As all the trapping of Christmas crowd in around you this year, take a few moments to remember why you do all the things that make up the holiday for your family. The reason for it all is a great one. Just don’t let the trappings distract from the center of the story – Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior.

Prayer: Born to Die
And the angels filled the sky All of heaven wondered why
Why their King would choose to be Be a Baby born to die
To break the chains of guilt and sin To find us here to pull us in
So we can join in heaven’s song And with one voice around the throne
© 2007 Bebo Norman CCLI#551204