That God became man is a most extraordinary and wonderful truth. He created all things and through him and for him all things were created. Yet he chose to become part of his creation.
The celebration of Christmas each year reminds us of this great truth: God became man.
Christmas gets side-tracked not just by the tinsel and the presents but also by the baby and the virgin. For the reality of the incarnation (God becoming flesh) is very specific – he became the particular man – Jesus of Nazareth. It was not that God became Mankind or indwelt every human. It was that at a particular place and time God was born as a baby. However, that baby and the miraculous way in which he was conceived sometimes gets in the way of people realising the larger truth that this one who was born in Bethlehem was Christ the Lord.
Wonderful as this truth is, it is not the centre of Christianity. Marvellous as the celebration of his birth may be – Christmas is not the central season of Christianity. “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). He did not come to become human. His mission was not finished by taking on human flesh. He came to die. He came to lay down his life as a sacrifice for sin. He came to rise from the dead – defeating Satan and death – and commencing the kingdom of God.
The central celebration of Christianity is Easter. It is with this knowledge that Christians look forward each year to remembering again the death and resurrection of our Lord. It is with this knowledge that we invite our friends to come and hear the great message of salvation.
It sometimes surprises Christians how freely people will accept their invitation to come to the special church meetings that we have over Easter. There is no season in which it is easier to explain the Gospel.
Please be prayerful for each of our Easter meetings. Please prayerfully invite all and sundry to come and hear about Christ’s entry into Jerusalem that we will celebrate next weekend – Palm Sunday. We will celebrate the Lord’s supper at 5:30pm on Thursday 17th – an excellent opportunity to invite city workers to come and think again of the Lord’s death.
Good Friday has three very different meetings 10am The Lord’s supper, 12-3pm the meditation on the cross, and 6:30 pm Handel’s Messiah. Then there will be the joyful expression of praise at our Easter Day gatherings.
Plan and pray ahead that we will not only enjoy thinking again about the very centre of our faith but also use the occasion to bring the great saving news to our friends.