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Thursday
Dec132018

Shouldn't The Scandal Surrounding Christmas Be That A Virgin Gave Birth To The Son of God?

 

My mother will start to worry, beautiful, what's your hurry?

Father will be pacing the floor, listen to the fireplace roar

So really I'd better scurry, beautiful, please don't hurry

Maybe just a half a drink more, put some records on while I pour”

Lyrics, ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside,’ Frank Loesser, 1949

 

“...God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.  You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God...”

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.”

Luke 1:26-38, Holy Bible, New International Version

 

A man making somewhat aggressive suggestions that a woman stay when she’s saying she should go.  

A teenage virgin being spoken to by an angel, telling her she will conceive and bear the Son of God.

I don’t know about you, but shouldn’t the scandal surrounding Christmas be the latter?

Have we really allowed the real message of Christmas to become so watered down that no one even worries about the fact that, for six weeks each Winter, the majority of the western world celebrates the central tenant of the Christian faith - a virgin birth?

I’ve heard and seen countless, protests and counter protests regarding the boycott of a trite, trivial Christmas jingle.  How ridiculous and touchy our culture has become, how terrified men are becoming of women, how the song was written for the composer’s wife.  What I haven’t seen, is one person posting about how ridiculous it is that we all celebrate a baby, born two thousand years ago to a scared teenage virgin.  Not a single meme going around Facebook, not one article quoting doctors or scientists testifying to the impossibilities of a virgin giving birth, outside of a laboratory.  Not a peep. Why? I think I know.

 

"Let this be the scandal.  Let this spark protests and boycotts and memes.  Tell me I’m crazy for agreeing with this, believing in this!  Not some jingle."  


Because as a Christian, who loves the Lord, and spends time most days reading the bible and in prayer - do you know how I’ve spent my December thus far?  Buying presents, decorating, planning outfits for parties. Yes, I’ve gone to church, yes, I’m going to help out wrapping presents for underprivileged children, but so?  There’s nothing, not one thing, about how I’m spending my Christmas season that would merit a protest from non-believers. Not one thing I’m doing that would offend someone or cause them to boycott or denounce any of my actions, because they’re not any different than what everyone else is doing.

Yes, if you asked me, I would tell you that Christmas, for me, isn’t just about a joyful season, but the celebration of the birth of my Redeemer, Christ the Messiah.  But no one asked, and so I haven’t said, so no scandal, no protests, no boycotts. No message, no meaning, no sharing of the hope that I’ve been given through that baby born two thousand years ago in a barn.

At first I was drawn into choosing a side in the ‘Cold Outside scandal,’ but today, this morning, as I read the Bible, I realized how easily I’m distracted, how easily I’m drawn into the noise, and away from the message.  How impotent I've become, and how embarrassed and ashamed I should be by that.

Should men respect women?  Yes. There, that’s the end of that discussion.

Was a teenage virgin visited by an angel, told she would bear the Son of God, conceive, give birth to a baby who would grow to manhood, be charged with blasphemy for claiming to be the Messiah, be convicted, crucified, die and be raised back to life on the third day, and in the process conquer the claim sin and death had over the souls of mankind?  Yes. Can it change your life, give you peace and emotional rest, give purpose to your life when all the presents and parties and celebrating don’t? Yes.

Let this be the scandal.  Let this spark protests and boycotts and memes.  Tell me I’m crazy for agreeing with this, believing in this!  Not some jingle.  

Christmas is the remembrance and celebration of the birth of God made flesh.  Of the divine, coming to earth, quietly, and in the most humble of circumstances.  It’s God’s love letter to us. The Almighty reaching out, wanting us back. Not wanting our sins and sinful nature to separate us from Him and his holy nature any longer.  It is the ultimate act of love, the sacrificing of that most dear to Him, His only Son, to win back those who didn’t even care that they’d lost Him.

This is the joy and the scandal of Christmas, this is why ‘the soul felt its worth.’  This is the scandal I’m celebrating.




 

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