From Al and Lisa to You
Oh, do we ever love Christmas. For one thing, we both brought a boatload of family traditions into our marriage all those years ago. Then we created a few of our own. So we guess you could say that Christmas 2019 will be a fantastic family celebration that sports a blended Christmas culture.
It really is one of our favorite times of the year.
But there is another reason Christmas is special to us. When we think about how close our marriage and our family came to exploding into a thousand pieces, Christmas is that one time when the story of redemption and forgiveness is told in vivid detail. If not for the story that began on Christmas day over two thousand years ago, we wouldn’t have made it.
So more than the Robertson blended Christmas traditions, we celebrate the Christmas tradition that centers on the Christ child who made his appearance all those years ago.
The Bible’s take on Christmas (even though it never uses the word “Christmas”) is that before the world was ever created — before the first atom ever existed — God had a plan in place that would erase the guilt that we would bear because of our rebellion against the God who created us. It’s such an incredible tale that there’s no way anyone could have made it up. In fact, it’s almost unbelievable.
So what is it, you ask?
It’s a simple story. And it’s all in the Bible.
God planned to send the Messiah (The Christ, Jesus, the second person of the Trinity) into our world as a newborn infant. He became one of us. From a human point of view, it was a risky maneuver. The Messiah, the Creator of the universe (John 1:1), voluntarily emptied himself of his equality with God the Father, and was born to a little teenage girl who had no status or wealth. She was a nobody, really. Just a teenager.
Yet God entrusted the welfare of his son to her. Anything could have happened. He could have been murdered by Herod. He could have died of the flu. Yes, he was vulnerable — just a baby. And the only thing that kept him safe was that his Father in heaven protected him until his mission was accomplished.
Thirty-three years after the first Christmas, the infant now grown up, was murdered on a Roman cross for the sins of the world. His death on the cross is what he did, but do you want to know why he did it? The truth is that the Creator of the world suffered the humiliation and indignity of dying in this way because of God’s overwhelming love for mankind. He was sacrificed so that we would have no doubt that we are all objects of God’s affection (John 3:16).
This is the narrative that saved us — our marriage. When we both finally “got it” we fell on our knees and worshipped Christ. Being broken before this God of ours who sacrificed himself for two people who deserved nothing but the death penalty compelled us to look inward and ask ourselves what would keep us from being desperate to forgive one another in the same way that Jesus was desperate to forgive us.
How could we hold anything back in our relationship when God Almighty held nothing back from us? The answer is that we couldn’t — not if we understood the enormity of his sacrifice.
Some say that “tis the season to be jolly,” but we say it is the season to be humble before God because of the grace and mercy he poured out on us. And when the Christmas story really takes root in our hearts, we become desperate to forgive as he forgave.
Merry Christmas, everyone. Don’t let the opportunity of a Christmas-changed life pass you by this year.