SATURDAY, December 22

The Perspective of Christmas

The birth of Jesus Christ reminds us that God stepped into humanity to heal the brokenness caused by sin and to lead us back to Himself. There are many people who feel separated from God. Sometimes, a person may feel that mistakes are so bad and separation from God so big that nothing could ever fix this divide. There are many people who feel separated from God because He is so big, and man is in comparison so very, very small. In the vastness of creation, many see God as untouchable and unknowable from human experience. Many think that God is so vast that He would never care nor be interested in the details of our lives.

So, many erroneously conclude that either I am too bad for God to fix, or, God is too big to care about my life. Both perspectives are the extreme opposites of the other; both perspectives are very, very wrong. So, how should one view God? The answer is simple: view Him through Jesus.

To do this, begin with the night Jesus was born. Oh, what a night that must have been. Through the lens of the Scriptures, look at the dark sky and notice the brightness of the star that marked the place of His birth. Look at the hillside where the shepherds unexpectedly heard the announcement that Jesus has come.

These shepherds! Pause right there. History teaches us that the shepherds were vagabonds sometimes trespassing on land to make certain their sheep were well fed. History also reminds us that these shepherds were most likely poor. They were also seen as only vendors for the sacred institution of temple worship (providing sheep that were sometimes used for the ceremonial sacrifices). So, the shepherds easily personify outsiders who were poor and seemingly unimportant to sacred matters. I emphasize this to make certain we do not miss this portion of the birth story of Jesus: God sent His message of the Messiah, fulfilling over three thousand years of prophecy, to shepherds. SHEPHERDS! On that night, the unimportant became important; the outsiders became insiders. The poor became rich in discovery of the Christ child. The outcast became the guest of honor to the birth of a King.

So, in your life’s journey, you may at times feel like an outsider, forgotten, or poor (by any measure that you may see yourself as wanting). You may feel you are not measuring up to other’s expectations, or uninvolved in the matters of God. When these thoughts and feelings come, remember this:

Much like the shepherds, God has stepped into your world, and has taken on your form (human likeness) so that you might know Him.

This proves your significance to God. Take great comfort in the fact that Jesus came for you. He came so that you might know God; He came to die so that you could have your sins forgiven. He came for you. He is here. See God, and yourself, through Jesus. Live astonished! This is the perspective of Christmas.

1 Timothy 1:12-16

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