As the Christmas season quickly and chaotically approaches, I have been doing some thinking about Christmas in general. Why do we celebrate this day? Of course, most of us answer that it is a celebration of the traditional birthday of Jesus. This is true, but why celebrate the birth of someone who lived 2000 years ago? Is Christmas not also a celebration of God taking on human flesh? You see, Christmas is more than a birthday celebration. It’s a celebration of The Gospel, a celebration of Emmanuel (God is with us) bursting into scene! The king of glory stepping off His throne into a world that would despise, reject, and ultimately nail Him to a cross. This opens the bigger question: Why would Jesus come to Earth?
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45)
This is one of several text that explicitly state why Jesus (Son of God) would come down to Earth. This specific texts highlights two points: to serve and to give the ultimate service by laying down his life for sinful mankind. This in my mind encapsulates the selfless way of Christ we so often talk about. How did he serve? He went to people and met them at their needs. What if they were hungry? Well he fed the 5,000 and the 4,000. What about the social outcasts? Have you heard of the woman at the well in Samaria? (Doesn’t get much more “social outcast” than that in first century Palestine) For his entire earthly ministry Jesus went to the broken, the outcasts, the sick, the poor, the homeless and met them at their individual needs. While he served these he was heading to one final destination: the cross, where He would die for the sins of the world. Talk about counter-cultural! Serving real people while on the path to die for those same people, even the ones who hated Him. It’s the selfless way of Christ my friend, and it’s what he calls his disciples to follow.
Now, of course we can’t die on a cross and save anyone from their sins. Only Jesus could accomplish that and the good news is that he did! However, you can meet people at their physical needs and you can certainly point them to Christ for their spiritual needs. So, this Christmas season I encourage you to celebrate Christmas in a different way: by following the one who started Christmas. Let’s not be the type of people that expect hurting people to come to us. Let’s be the type of community that goes to people and meets them at their needs. Let’s spread the Christmas cheer by spreading the good news of Jesus for all to hear. Yes, let’s celebrate Christmas by simply following Jesus. Friends, be selfless and go to those in need and serve them. In other words, be a Christmas servant!