Once again it is Christmas and I set pen to paper to write my Christmas message to you. I hope you will read it, because it is the most important letter you will ever get.
I write this because I love you. I made you, forming humanity from the dust of the ground like a sculptor dedicated to his craft. I gave you paradise to live in and authority over it. I never wanted anything but the best for you. Unfortunately, that paradise came to a sad end in your disobedience. Still, though, I want you to have the treasures of an eternal paradise and a new heavens and new earth.
Ever since that Fall, though, you have had an adversarial relationship with me. I have made many promises over the centuries and kept them all in the gift of my one and only Son. Either these promises are not good enough for you or you have simply overlooked them and ignored them. Even the gift of my one and only Son, you have sold away in your modern obsession with having it your own way.
You seem to want big, bold, glitzy, and glamorous. What you don’t see is how my Son’s birth among the animals and their sounds and smells, away from the noise of the busy inn, speaks the very peace He came to bring. The wood of his manger speaks an early prediction of the two pieces of wood He would bear–and would be nailed to–FOR YOU. He slipped under their radar screens then. He slips under your radar screen even now. You’re too dazzled by the lights. You’re too deafened by the noise. If only you could slow down, breathe deep, the power of my story.
Some of you who have noticed what I have done still call it “offensive.” How can my love for you be offensive? How can a love which lays down its life for you be so offensive? This is a story of humility and love for a world which can be so loveless. You even take my Son’s bride and blame your problems on her. She surely has not been perfect, but since your disobedience you have acted lovelessly–recklessly–not just toward my Son and His bride, but toward yourselves and everyone else.
I sent my Son to set this right. Still, you complain about “Christmas” and you prove what my apostle wrote about my Son’s cross being a scandal and an offense. Did I do this to you? Or have you done it to yourselves? Or worse yet, have you been led away by the one whose lies are never-ending and whose hatred for you often gets mistaken for a twisted sort of love, self-love?
Still, I have a gift for you should you open your eyes and see it. That gift is the forgiveness of sins which allows you to start again new today and gives you a ticket to another paradise of my making. You would not have this were it not for the story you find so offensive. But you can still have it. All I ask is that you turn from your ways, see the God who loves you, and live! With that life, you can have all the other goodies I have: joy, peace, love, hope, gentleness, self-control, et al.
After all, are any of the other philosophies, religions, “gurus,” motivational speakers, drugs, medications, screens, technologies, investments, political candidates, pleasures, helping you to heal? Are they? Do you really think you have come up with anything better than what I offer you? It doesn’t look like it to me. How sadly you have been deceived by my old enemy.
I love you. This is why I tell you the truth. [Love] rejoices with the truth (1 Cor. 13:6). When you’re ready to hear the truth, I have it for you. That’s the real story of Christmas, There’s truth in the manger, truth on the cross, truth in the tomb, truth risen and ascended on high. No other earthly leader can do this for you. Living under my Son, however, is joy itself.
Dear World, my precious creation, I will always love you. I just pray that you are not so busy being offended by my love that you miss it entirely. When you’re ready to admit you cannot save yourselves, repent and I will do it for you. I’ve already given my greatest gift, my greatest sacrifice, to make it happen.
Why? Because I love you.
Your Heavenly Father