Philip Britts writes “When the wise men, or the kings, came from the East, they went to Jerusalem, the capital, to inquire ‘Where is he who has been born King of the Jews?’ And today those who are ‘wise’ make the same mistake in looking to worldly power to solve the world’s problems. Others go to magnificent cathedrals and follow spiritual paths that appear much more splendid and much more clever than anything which accompanied the birth of Christ. All this is misguided; it concentrates on the question ‘how’ instead of the question ‘why.’ We can easily get overwhelmed. How are we to carry out all the tasks laid upon us; how are we to plan our next year; how shall we find the strength both for securing our economic needs and in reaching out to the needs of others? But as important as these questions are, it is more important to remember the ancient question ‘Why?’ Once we realize why Christ came to earth, why he was born as a helpless baby in a manger, and why his whole life was lived as an outcast from the best society, then can we begin to answer the question ‘how’ – ‘how can we find God again; how can we experience peace on earth?”
This Christmas we remember why Jesus, fully divine, came in the form of a man, fully human. God sent his one and only Son to this earth to do for us what we could not do for ourselves. We needed redemption. Human love cannot redeem.
As the angel told Joseph about Mary , “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)
In Luke 2:10-11 we read “But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”
Perfect love came down to earth to bridge the gap between a holy God and imperfect people. Try as we may, we will never attain communion with God by our own effort. Jesus not only offers the gift of salvation by grace through faith, but understands our human plight. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)
Let us joyfully celebrate this baby in a manger – God’s provision for our redemption and peace. “Hark! The herald angels sing, ‘Glory to the newborn King! Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled.”