Why Christmas? By Pastor Mike Lotzer
Christmas is fascinating in our culture. It feels sacred for many of our non-church-going friends and neighbors. Yet, for them, it has nothing to do with God. The broader culture seems more interested in presents, family gatherings, and Christmas movies than Jesus.
At the heart of Christmas is the claim that God came down to Earth in Jesus Christ. So why did God need to come to us?
Christ-followers believe God came to live a perfectly sinless life and die for the sins of the world. God came to restore the possibility of a relationship with His broken creation and to invite all people to an eternal relationship.
As Christmas approaches, consider this: We Christ-followers must seem strange to those around us! After all, most people in our culture fall into one of two camps: Moralism or Relativism. In a sense, both worldviews do not see the need for Christmas because they don’t know why God would need to come down to us.
Of moralism, Tim Keller writes,
“A God who was only holy would not have come down to us in Jesus Christ. He would have simply demanded that we pull ourselves together, that we be moral and holy enough to merit a relationship with him.”
Of Relativism Keller writes,
“A deity that was an ‘all‐accepting God of love’ would not have needed to come to Earth either. This God of the modern imagination would have just overlooked sin and evil and embraced us. Neither the God of moralism nor the God of relativism would have bothered with Christmas.” (47)
The truth is that God is not found in moralism or relativism but rather in realism. The reality of life is that we are not good and holy enough to have a relationship with God. We even see this principle in human relationships at times. You’ve been in the presence of someone you look up to because of their profound accomplishments or character. Yet, you feel almost unworthy of a relationship with them at the moment. If this happens between two flawed people, imagine how it applies to a relationship with a perfect and eternal God. Pastor Chad preached last Sunday on how Matthew felt unworthy of the invitation to follow Jesus. Both external and internal voices confirmed that feeling, yet Jesus still invited him.
Christmas is a time to admit to ourselves we are unworthy, on our own, of a right relationship with God, and so God came down to bestow to us the gift of His worth. God doesn’t demand a perfect religious performance from you. Neither does God shrug off your sin and overlook our unworthiness. The Good News is that God comes to us in Christ to make us worthy of a relationship with Him.