“If God has really been born in a manger, then we have something no other religion even claims to have. It’s a God who truly understands you, from the inside of your experience. . . . Christmas shows he knows what you’re going through. When you talk to him, he understands.”- Timothy Keller
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given.”- Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)
Timothy Keller concludes Chapter 1 of Hidden Christmas as he notes that God possesses the life, truth, and joy we lack. And cannot generate ourselves. Above all, this divine light dawned – literally flashed – through the incarnation of Jesus.
Most significantly, no other religion claims this. Jesus is God! Not some kind of avatar of divine principle. As a result, it’s too limiting to say we ‘celebrate’ this at Christmas. Rather, Rev. Keller stresses, we stand dumbstruck, lost in wonder, love, and praise. Hence, Timothy mentions two implications of Jesus’ birth in our midst.
- You can’t just like Jesus. People in the Bible who actually saw and heard Jesus never displayed mild or indifferent reactions. Either Jesus scared or angered them, or the knelt before Him in worship.
- You should want to serve Him. Jesus died on the cross voluntarily, freely, out of sheer love. When we find something this beautiful, instead of just a duty, we dwell and stand on it. Because Jesus is satisfying in Himself. And when all other lights go out, Jesus lights the way for us.
In conclusion, Pastor Keller exhorts:
“The promise of Christmas cannot be discerned unless you first admit you can’t save yourself or even know yourself without the light of his unmerited grace in your life. This is the foundational truth from which we can proceed to learn the hidden meanings of Christmas.”
Today’s question: What does it mean to worship a God who truly understands you? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Good advice or good news?”