Originally posted December 18th, 2006.
Pastor told a story of a Christmas play written and performed by K and 1st graders for a church. The play proceeded normally enough until Joseph and Mary arrived at the stable at which time there’s a knock at the “door” and Joseph welcomes a Doctor in a white coat and bearing a stethoscope. The doctor proceeds to Mary who is behind some hay bales and groaning and straining sounds occur normal to a birth scene. After the final cry and a baby wail the Doctor comes out to Joseph who has been pacing nervously across the stage during this time and says to him “Congratulations, it’s a God.”
What wonder must Joseph and Mary have felt in that time. They knew better than any other the amazing nature of the child Mary bore. Perhaps they didn’t grasp the all the implications pursuant to such an event, but the amazement factor itself must have been nearly overwhelming.
As good Jews they were well aware of the awesome nature of God and knew only a little of the Love He showed completely through His son. They knew Him as unapproachable and Holy. They couldn’t even say His name. And yet here He had given them a son, His Son, His ONLY Son. He’s entrusted them His heart. And in the same way He’s taken the ultimate risk with each of us, He’s given each of us His heart through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, whether we accept it or not. Think of the father, mother, lover, going out on a limb, as it were, setting themselves up for endless hurt and betrayal if their son, daughter, lover, ignores their love and spites them. God gave His life, laying it on the live for each one of us, individually. No greater love has no one than this, than that He lays down His life for another. Christmas is only the beginning, Easter is only the epic moment in time when timeless God Himself changed the course of His Story to our dim eyes. The end comes when each of us dies and is brought to reckoning. It won’t be a “were you good enough to shave off enough days of purgatory” as the Catholics believe. It won’t be a “am I in a good mood did you kill enough infidels or do other feats to further Islam” such as Muslims believe. It will be “did you accept my gift.”
When the good Doctor says “Congratulations, the baby is healthy, and it’s a God” He’s given to each of us a gift that we can accept or reject. All the rest are just bonus points, or filthy rags, as Paul calls them.