When Jesus came to this world, it was not to address the peccadillo needs of a few, but to fill the chasm of sin that separated man from God. He did not come to just please the whims and fancies of the human race, but He came to pacify of the righteous demands of a holy God.
His coming was full of promise; yet, the people to whom He came rejected Him. John said:
He came into the world—the world he had created—and the world failed to recognize him. He came into his own creation, and his own people would not accept him. Yet wherever men did accept him he gave them the power to become sons of God. These were the men who truly believed in him, and their birth depended not on the course of nature nor on any impulse or plan of man, but on God (JB Phillips)
Whenever I read the verses above, I am intrigued by four words: “the power to become.” When people accept Jesus, not an idea nor a philosophy, but the person of Christ, they receive “the power to become” a child of God. This spiritual transformation is the real hope of the Christmas story.
At this time each year I see people go to great expense to decorate their house–to transform it from the ordinary ho hum to an extraordinary display of flashing lights; yet they still miss the meaning of Christmas. While they are willing to pay homage to a diorama of Christmas, they fail to worship the Christ of Christmas.
Longfellow wrote the words to the song I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. In the third stanza of the song, he stated the condition of mankind without Christ:
And in despair I bowed my head:
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”
As you celebrate Christmas this year, remember peace on earth is only possible because a piece of Heaven was born in a manger.