The Birth of Christ

“The birth of Christ is the greatest event in the annals of time. When the dawn of the world broke and the morning stars sang together, man came forth from God; designed for dominion he became a slave; born for life, he fell into the abyss of death; offspring of infinite goodness he stained his spirit with sin. After long millenniums the world lay prostrate under the shadow of universal ruin. Religion had become a burden, but God had not forgotten; in His heart were the purposes of love, and at last He appears among men in the Person of the Eternal Son. The coming of Christ as a Babe in Bethlehem set the Heavenly hosts to singing, because at last the poor had the good news of Eternal life preached unto them: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will to men.’ ” (Lights of Asia, London, 1879).
What is distinctive about Christianity is that God is named for us. We do not have to invent words to describe Him, nor put words in His mouth. He has revealed Himself plainly in the flesh as Jesus, the long-promised Messiah. This partial excerpt of Dr. Cara’s (a Calvinist theologian) article hits upon the main reason of Christmas: God came to dwell with and redeem His people in the person of Christ. Though He came in an ordinary way by birth, as true God, He speaks and does the Father’s will—which is shown as gracious in the holy Son’s actions. The Spirit continues to be poured out in the Son’s Gospel which proclaims His deeds done as our substitute. The Word of Christ gives His forgiveness and life, comforting with eternal life. This child Jesus, born for us, through whom all things were made, suffered death to deliver us from sin and hell. Thanks be to God for His coming into the flesh and our reception of His blessings. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:14). —ed.