Dearest Faith Families,
It’s the most wonderful time of the year (in my best Andy Williams’ voice!). The sights, the sounds, the smells, the tastes…I hope everyone loves the Christmas season! Around Faith Lutheran, our students, faculty, and staff will enjoy some well deserved time off to spend time with family and friends. And maybe open some presents.
In fact, Christmas is all about presence – not presents, but presence. It’s about the presence of Jesus Christ on earth. Even the famed Grinch from Dr. Seuss gets it. As the story goes, "It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags," said the Grinch. And he puzzled and puzzed ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. Maybe Christmas he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)
The Grinch is right. It absolutely means more. It means that the Savior of the World came for us. True God and true Man, born of a virgin, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. He came with one purpose – saving mankind as Savior of the world.
The best gift that we get at Christmas is a Savior. Christmas is a celebration of God becoming human, being born in a manger, and ultimately suffering and dying for us. As unintelligible as it is to think of almighty God becoming a weak helpless baby born in a cattle shed, that is what happened! Jesus came so that He could do what the name Jesus means - "Save His people from their sins" and, so that he could be Emmanuel - God with us.
Photo by Sarah Crowder Photography
"...an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us)." Matthew 1:20-23
Yet Christmas without Easter is just the birthday of another cute little baby. Christmas with Good Friday and Easter, however, is the most amazing act of love ever conceived. Christmas is best viewed in light of the cross, where the innocent blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was shed for you and me. Wow, God sent His one and only Son to take our punishment. As the band Newsboys sing, “Amazing love! How can it be – that you my King should die for me?!” But that’s exactly what God did for us.
It’s ironic isn’t it: Jesus Christ was content with a stable when he was born so that we could have a mansion when we die.
And that, my friends, is the whole point of CHRISTmas. So, Merry Christmas!
Because of Him,
Dr. Steven J. Buuck