Why did Jesus Come?
The season of celebration is upon us again –
the presenter on the radio asked today if listeners were feeling festive
yet (I am drafting this on 9th November!)... but what does
festive mean after all? He probably implied being jolly and ready for
some fun; buying presents and getting the
decorations in. I guess the
word really means our focus being on the festival – in this case, the
birth of Jesus.
came in the flesh, what we call the incarnation – he made himself
vulnerable as a baby and made his home among us as a fellow human being.
It is an incredible and almost unbelievable story. The King of Heaven
made himself nothing and took on a servant role – and identified with us
in our need, even suffering death on a cross. His arrival was announced
as good news of great joy for all people.
did God do this? The Bible makes clear that this was really only way to
deal with the problem of sin – our separation and rebellion against
God’s ways. His heart quite literally bled for his broken creation;
women and men made in the image of God had become so far removed from
the perfect plan.
A favourite worship song begins: “Filled
with compassion for all the people, Jesus came into a world that was
lost. There was but one way that he could save us only through suffering
death on a cross” * God’s heart was aching and breaking for the world he
so loved - people like you and me.
So he came alongside us and
demonstrated love in action even to the point of death.
is the miracle that is at the heart of Christmas. Jesus being laid in a
wooden manager cannot be separated from the image of him being nailed to
a wooden cross. We see in both the cost of God’s great love. The
festivals of Christmas and Easter both speak of sacrifice – God giving
his all for the people of the world he cares about and loves so deeply.
Philip Brooks wrote these beautiful words after a pilgrimage to
Bethlehem in 1865:
How silently, how silently the wondrous gift
So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of his heaven
O Holy child of Bethlehem descend to us we
Cast out our sin and enter in, be born in us today
Jesus was the greatest gift ever given to a
man, woman or child – he came as redeemer, as liberator, to set us free
from the bondage to sin and death and to offer us new life. If we will
receive him – he will enter in and bring a fullness and blessing.
So, let’s celebrate this amazing
world-changing event. Let’s be festive in the proper sense of the word
and make the most of this major Christian festival that helps us
remember the coming of God’s precious son. We have a range of activities
this month that will help us share the heart of Christmas with the
community around us. Do be praying about who you might be able to invite
Let’s share the reason for the season.
With my very best wishes for a truly
*filled with compassion by Noel & Tricia
Richards, 1994, Kingsway’s Thank you Music