The Strange Dichotomy of Christmas

The Strange Dichotomy of Christmas

Jesus is an enigma that confronts us at this time each year. Like Pilate who said, “What shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” (Matt 27:22), society just doesn’t know what to do with Jesus. The same breath that sings, “Rockin’ around the Christmas tree” utters the sublime words “Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!”.  Society is caught in a love-hate relationship with Jesus. It stands between two worlds. On one hand there is the world of the Word, the sum of which is truth (Ps 119:160), where Christ is God, and we are sinners in need of Christ to save us. And then there is the world of delusions where God is dead and we are faultless, with the self-autonomy to be, do or have anything we desire. Christmas is about the world of the Word.

There is no confusion in the minds of the angels who see perfectly what we by faith can only see dimly (1 Cor 13:12). There they stand before the presence of God, day and night. Their eyes behold the glory of God and their minds are fixated on the unfathomable reality that sovereign God became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). What better ambassadors?  No wonder it was the angels’ task to declare the coming of Christ. To the shepherds they sang:

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:14)

What a message to behold this Christmas. The angels declare peace on earth. This is not a universal peace to all and sundry, but a peace “among those with whom [God] is pleased.” Who is God pleased with? Whoever is the object of His goodwill. And the objects of His goodwill are always those who humbly and joyfully understand that Christ is God, and that we are sinners in need of Christ to save us. When we get that, indeed we will sing with the angels this Christmas, “Glory to God in the highest”. Whatever your circumstances this Christmas, may you know the personal presence of the Saviour and experience His abounding joy and His peace that surpasses all understanding, while rooted in the reality of the world of the Word.

 

One Comment

  1. Adrian

    Great observation about that peace from God only being “among those with whom [God] is pleased.”!

    I’ve often found it incredulous how so many Hallmark Christmas cards conveniently excise this 2nd part of Luke 2:14 to distort the message into a promise of universal peace to all.

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