The Incarnational Christ of Christmas

Today I was talking with a friend who is currently without a home. He told me that he is never comfortable going to meet people in unfamiliar places. He continued to say that he is much more comfortable with people coming to places that he frequents and into places that he is comfortable with. I can relate, I would much rather spend the night at home, or in familiar territory, than to strike out into a place that is unfamiliar. I am more comfortable when people come into my space.

Reflecting on this, I was moved afresh in celebration of Christmas this week of what Jesus has done for me. He knows that I am comfortable in my sin. He knows that I wouldn’t want Him or desire Him apart from His pursuit of me. He left the comfort of His home to come into my space.

As I was talking with my friend, another group came up and began talking with us. One of the men asked my friend, “have you been good?”. That is where we can all go, and that is what the naughty-or-nice-checking-his-list-twice Christmas has taught us. That is what every religion tries to teach us: “Be good.” But Christ came, knowing that we can’t be good, all the time, in every way. He came to place His Spirit in us, to place His righteousness in us. He came into our space. He is knocking at the door of our hearts, asking to be let in (Rev. 3:20).

That is Christmas. The incarnational Christ, coming to earth, because God so loved the world (John 3:16). I grew up hearing about a different Jesus. I heard the decree to “be good”. However, the command to “be good” is like putting the cart before the horse. In my twenties, I met others who came into my space, they told me about a Jesus that didn’t want my good works, but a Jesus that wanted to do a good work in me. A Jesus who wanted to breath true life in me, to live life as it is truly meant to be lived. Jesus pulls the cart…Jesus made the cart!

This Christmas don’t settle for the naughty-or-nice-checking-his-list-twice Jesus. This Christmas celebrate Jesus – God who took on the form of man (Phil. 2:5-11). Celebrate and give thanks to God who came into our space. Ladies, gospel yourselves this Christmas – Jesus came into the world so that we could flourish in life now, and so that we would even have the desire for a better, lasting home, as well as the way to get there (John 14:6-7). This Christmas, and everyday, Christ’s Spirit in us now compels us to go out into the world. His Spirit in us compels us out of our place of comfort (just as He did for us) into other people’s spaces, as ambassadors of this gospel.

Truth: “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’” ~ John 14:6-7