What does Christmas demand from you?

It is very easy for anyone who is not a believer to neglect the real meaning of the Christmas story by just saying that Christmas is all about the ‘birth’ of the “Jesus – The God of Christians”. Such an assertion doesn’t fully capture the true message of the Gospel stories. Mathew and Luke in their retelling of the nativity account from two different sources portray it as the birth of a King with a never-ending Kingdom who saves His people from their sins. Thus, these narratives expect us all to submit ourselves to the rule of this King.

Man’s maker was made man, that He, Ruler of the stars, might nurse at His mother’s breast; that the Bread might hunger, the Fountain thirst, the Light sleep, the Way be tired on its journey; that the Truth might be accused of false witness, the Teacher be beaten with whips, the Foundation be suspended on wood; that Strength might grow weak; that the Healer might be wounded; that Life might die.

Augustine of Hippo – Sermons 191.1

This apparently difficult to believe “virgin birth” story is not someone’s harmless private faith, rather it is a claim about the real history. This is clear from the way Mathew and Luke place the Nativity story in secular history by referring to the rulers at the time of this event. Either it is true or it is a lie. This story, within the context of subsequent events in the life of Jesus, and within other Biblical stories of God’s actions in history, truly demands a response from everyone. Whether you respond in faith or unbelief is up to you, but you should never naively assume that Christmas is just about another non-threatening feel-good story intended to create some more fun in life.

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