Christmas from Heaven's Perspective
The Christmas story that we are familiar with is found in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. These narratives tell us the details primarily from earth’s perspective. There are other scriptures that we don’t always consider Christmas passages that focus on Christmas from Heaven’s perspective. I have created a collage of these scriptures and crafted them together to help us look behind the curtain to see the heart of God.
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Though he was in the form of God, he did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself.
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, for God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son… born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross… so that we might receive adoption as children… that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but in order that the world might be saved through him.
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to live his life as a ransom for many. For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. He came to his own and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become the children of God… and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Today Christmas is celebrated with beautiful decorations and wonderful images that sparkle and glisten. The first Christmas was not at all like this. It was actually quite messy. Let us take a moment to rethink Christmas in light of the messy details that God chose for himself and the focus it should generate.
The Incarnation of Christ from the Word to baby Jesus means that he was literally an Immigrant from a far away land. He chose to be born in a tiny country, to an unmarried teenage mother that created quite a messy stigma in those days. He wasn’t born in a castle fit for a new King. As a matter of fact, God made sure we were aware that his pregnant mother was not even welcome at a local Inn so he was delivered in a outdoor cave or stable. He didn’t have a nicely decorated crib but slept in an animal’s feeding trough. He didn’t have any cute little baby clothes with logos on them but rather he was wrapped in strips of clothing to keep warm.
His birth announcement was not sent to magistrates and debutants but to shepherds who were so low on the social status that they were considered by the religious community to be too unclean to be welcomed at worship services. Shortly after his birth, he along with his guardians, became refugees fleeing for their lives from a raging king.
His ministry credentials would have been considered a bit sketch. He was an unemployed carpenter and homeless. He had nowhere to call home. He traveled from town to town relying on the hospitality of others to eat and sleep. He was misunderstood and criticized for being a friend of people of bad reputation, and ostracized by the mainstream community as unworthy of attention.
He was eventually abandoned and betrayed by his closest friends and ministry partners, abused by the religious leaders, humiliated and crucified by the civic powers.
Christmas, from Jesus’ perspective, is messy. The prophets of old highlighted that you would recognize the Messiah for his ministry would be characterized by healing the hurting and bringing good news to the poor.
This Christmas, may I encourage you to see the season as an opportunity to do more than bless your family and loved ones. There are so many who won’t see Christmas as the most wonderful time of the year but rather the most depressing time of the year. They are alone and hurting.
Deed and Truth is a bridge to connect those who want help to those who want to help. Traditionally, we don’t make it a custom to “ask” for donations but at this time of the year, as we close the chapter on 2020, and project what God wants us to do for 2021, we present you with an opportunity to celebrate a Messy Christmas by partnering in ministry to those who are under-resourced and overlooked.
Thanks to all of you who have faithfully prayed, contributed, and sacrificed your time as well as financial resources to partner with us as we partner with God reaching those he came to serve.
Scriptures: John 1:1, 14; Phil 2:6-8a; Galatians 4:4: John 3:16; 2 Cor. 8:9; Mat. 20:28/Luke 19:10; Mat. 20:28/Luke 19:10