A stress filled 2020, but we still have Christmas wonder in our eyes

On the birth of Christ Bonhoeffer says: “All Christian theology has its origins in the wonder of all wonders, that God became man.”

I get that. I’m a Dad. And I see that wonder of wonders every day in the eyes of my children – especially at Christmas when their eyes are twinkling in the reflection of the lights. The smiles of my children always seem to be bigger at Christmas.

Matthew and Luke also retell the birth story of Christ that, like Christmas with our kids, it defies explanation.

“But a baby? That’s Christmas?! Why not come as a superhero? Why reveal God's salvation plan to a poor girl and her confused fiancé that for all he knows, is about to marry a girl who cheated on him?

John’s text is not interested in what we prefer, but what we see! That the “Word became Flesh and Dwelt among us! From the Father full of grace and truth.” John 1:14.

Here is the truth in Jesus we may not always want, but desperately need! The Greek meaning to be ‘from’ the Father means he is from the ‘source’ or ‘origins’ of all things!

The origins who will die, so I might be free from the power of sin!

Such a Christmas revelation in a year as tense as 2020 means what else can I do, what else can we do but repent?

“His sandals I am not worthy to untie” John the Baptist declares in John 1:27. The prophecy in Isaiah 9:6-7  asks me, and asks us to consider that Christmas, far from being about us, is more about lifting up Christ to my kids and all who will respond to the name that changes all things.

Recalling once again that because of God’s love, “Unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace! Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:6-7.

I’m not worthy nor know why I have the opportunity to make sure my kids smile this Christmas, Christmas trees or not, but here we are!

May we retain the wonder of Advent, that in spite of our sin and lack of understanding, God became man. Wesley’s immortal hymn sums up how I feel about my kids, and my Lord who was born to die, so I might live: Hark the Herald Angels sing….

 

John Thomas is the Pastor at Troup United Methodist Church, in Troup, Texas and Walnut Grove United Methodist Church, in Whitehouse, Texas. John and the rest of his congregation would love to have you come worship with them next time you are in the area, or join them anytime online, the online links are located on the front of their Facebook page listed above.

A Closer Christmas is brought to you by the Communications Department of the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. To be considered as a future blogger, please contact Shannon W. Martin, Director of Communication at smartin@txcumc.org.