Why Do We Do Christmas? (Part 1)

For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. (Hebrews 2:10 ESV). The day after Thanksgiving is always an incredible day for retail businesses in America. It has been designated “Black Friday.” This is not meant to be a negative designation; it is a reference to the fact that the enormous sales of this day and the kick-off of the Christmas buying season puts many businesses “in the black” for the year. Now, I’ve written about the Christian version of “black Friday’; and, you can find it at my web site for Grace Restoration Ministries (http://gracerestoration.org/?s=black+friday). So, today we’re going in a little different direction. The question for us to explore over the next few days is simply, “Why do we do Christmas?” Let’s begin at the beginning. Our reading today has a very important word embedded in the theology of it with the use of the phrase “it was fitting.” Jesus Christ existed before he was conceived in Mary’s womb. You and I did not exist before conception. So when we speak of our coming into the world we don’t mean that we existed before we were sent. We mean our being sent was our coming into being. Not so with Jesus (cf. John 16:28). The Son of God chose to be conceived in Mary’s womb. Neither you nor I chose to be born as a human. He did. As God, he considered what he would do. Upon consideration, he “counted” his equality with God something he would not grasp so tightly as to let it hinder his incarnation (cf. Philippians 2:6-7). All of this of this begs the question, “Why?” God could have created and run the universe differently. Why did it happen like this? One of the deepest biblical answers is that it was “fitting.” I say this is one of the deepest answers, because there is no reality above or outside God that he must “fit” into in order to do right. God himself is the measure of all that is right and good and true and beautiful. They are congruent, or consistent, or harmonious with all that he is. So, God acted fittingly. This is no small thing. For an all-wise, all-powerful God to see something as supremely fitting is to see it as a supreme obligation. We’ll look further in the context of our reading in subsequent days. The verse, “Therefore, Christ had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest” (cf. Hebrews 2:17). We could translate: “Hence he is obliged” (hothen ōpheilen). Not obliged to anything outside God. He is obliged by the divine wisdom in seeing what is “fitting.” God “has to” do what is fitting. Not as man reckons, but as God himself reckons. So, Christmas is in perfect character with who He is. He did Christmas because of that. Aren’t you...

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