JUST HOW BIG IS CHRISTMAS?
To listen to retailers, without Christmas, they would go out of business. We commonly hear that a particular store will receive over a third of its business during the Christmas season. We also hear of huge volumes of business in travel, recreation, and restaurants. In other words Christmas is big! “It seems then,” said Tirian, smiling to himself, “that the Stable seen from within and the Stable seen from without are two different places.”“Yes,” said the Lord Digory. “Its inside is bigger than its outside.”
“Yes,” said Queen Lucy. “In our world too, a Stable once had something inside it that was bigger than our whole world.”
This dialogue from C. S. Lewis’ book The Last Battle in The Chronicles of Narnia series gives us a profound insight into the meaning of Christmas and the real impact of Jesus’ birth in the manger. The inside of Christmas is far bigger than the external trappings of our culture. It is bigger than our Christmas activities and services in church. Just how big is it?
Christmas is big because the stable reveals the Son of God! Our minds cannot comprehend the full meaning of this statement. God became a man. Jesus didn’t merely “adopt” a man, nor seem to be a man, but became a man, a human being, subject to our limitations and temptations. Astounding!
Christmas is big because the stable reveals the strategy of God! We would expect God to do things in a grand way. But God comes among us as a baby, whom we must kneel to see. He draws us closer rather than driving us farther away. Incarnational love is still God’s strategy for reaching the world.
Christmas is big because it reveals to us our place as partners with God. Both Mary and Joseph demonstrate the value God places on us. God saves the world through his involvement with human beings. Mary’s humble acceptance of the Lord’s work is a model of saying yes to God. Joseph’s acceptance of Mary’s calling is a model of being alongside someone in costly love. The incarnate principles of life and ministry that help us understand the implications of Christ’s incarnation. Serving God is costly―but it’s the most priceless privilege of being alive.
Christmas is big because the stable reveals the hope of the world! Of what use is a full cash register when you live in fear of drive-by shootings? Of what use is a tree surrounded by presents if you cannot stand the presence of those gathered with you around the tree? Of what use are the melodies of Christmas if your heart is overcome with depression? In other words, of what use is the outside of the Stable if your inner world is plagued by fear, loneliness and emotional pain?
We invite you to slow down and reflect on these glorious Christmas truths. It will help you remember just how big Christmas is!
See you in church.