ARTICLES

A Christmas Story

December 24, 2021

Bill never thought much of Christianity. He hadn’t grown up in a Christian home. And for him the Christian story seemed to be for wimps. It resonated with Nietzsche’s criticism that Christianity had neutered the West of its masculinity and power. He didn’t want all that sort of die-to-yourself and take up your cross stuff. Not for him. He wasn’t going to be anyone else’s stepping stone to their agenda. He was no wallflower. If someone needed confronting, he’d confront them. If someone needed putting back in their place, he was more than happy to oblige.

Mind you he didn’t thrust himself on other people, either. “Live and let live” was his motto. But he was not interested in any religious groveling to other peoplemuch less to some cryptic sublime being in the sky who didn’t seem much interested in him anyway. Why should he worship God? Was God insecure that he needed people to worship him? Why couldn’t Godif he existedleave us all alone? No, it was all too pathetic and weak for him. He was a protector. He looked out for the little guys, the weak ones, and protected them against the wolves in the world. But to do that he had to be tough. And he didn’t have any time for submission and turning the other cheek. He’d rather punch back if he was punched.  

One time, Bill was asked to go to a nativity service by one of his friends. He decided to go along because he liked his neighbor. Besides, he wanted to make sure that this church wasn’t taking advantage of his friend. The churched seemed a bit too intense and enthusiastic. He wasn’t at all sure it wasn’t really a cult. Well, if they asked him for any money, he wasn’t going to give them any. And if he spotted any Kool-Aid drinkers, cult members, any love-bombing cultic techniques, he’d be out of there pretty quick, and he’d drag his friend with him for his own good too.  

Then, for some reason, he wasn’t sure exactly why, as he stood in front of that nativity, that crib, the Baby Jesus, something struck him. There was a note written under it that he felt drawn to read. It said simply: “Imagine this: The God of all glory came to save you.” He kept on looking at that baby, and he kept on thinking. Could it really be true? If it was, he knew it would be enough to make him happynot just about what’s happening, but truly joyfulforever. Here was someone who hadn’t played the game of the survival of the fittest but had actually given his life for someone else.  

Questions for Reflection:

  1. The wise men bowed and worshipped at the manger. Have you experienced the joy of worshipping Christ?  
  2. Happiness is a natural human response to what is happening. Joy, however, is spiritual fruit of a relationship with Jesus whatever is happening. Do you have joy? Do you have a relationship with Jesus? 
  3. The Bible tells us that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Will you turn from your sin and put your trust in Jesus? You don’t have to be perfect. In fact, you need to admit that you’re not! Trust him. And be saved.  
  4. Joy comes from putting Jesus first. It is spelt J.O.Y. – Jesus, then Others, then You. A lot of people find they have little joy because they put themselves first. They put “you” firstand all they have is Y.O.J. (not J.O.Y.)! What could you do to serve Christ this Christmas? Ask God to show you. 
  5. Perhaps you are going through a very difficult time personally as you read this. If you are struggling, let me encourage you to seek a pastor or Christian counselor for advice and help. There are times when all of us need someone to come alongside and help us see things in the right perspective. Look at that baby Jesus. Given for you. How can you keep that perspective in focus this Christmas? 

This story was taken from How Christmas Can Change Your Life by Josh Moody.

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