“And the angel said to them, Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
Luke 2:10-11 ESV
Carols and concerts, pageants and presents, food, and more food. The holidays can be the most wonderful time of the year for both the religious and secular as the spirit of Christmas seems to fill the air. And while many fight to keep Christ in Christmas, we must remember who this Christ is and why He came.
The celebration of Jesus' birth should remind us of the mission He embodied and shared with us as a missionary of God. Jesus came to earth so he could be and proclaim good news for all mankind. In John 17:18 Jesus prays, “As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” Then in John 20:21 He tells his disciples, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
God sent Jesus to be his missionary to the world, which required his intentional immersion in a culture and environment so different than from where He came. Holy, pure, and perfect Jesus left his home in heaven where He ruled all of creation with God to be born of a sinful virgin so could provide eternal rescue for her and all of humanity through the sacrifice of Himself.
And how are we, as followers of Christ, to respond? David Matthias writes, "We are sent to say and show that Jesus was sent into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). He continues, “that the Father sent his Son to share fully in our humanity is no mere model for mission. It is at the very heart of the gospel which our mission aims to spread.”
Matthias notes we cannot begin to fathom what trying to take after Jesus looks like in our own lives. His mission is in a class far above that of our own. Jesus' sentness is primary and ultimate. Our sentness is at best secondary and derivative.
Christmas is a reminder of the primacy of Jesus as the Sent One. As this Advent Season culminates this week with our celebration of Christmas, let us remember the sentness of the Savior whom the shepherds found as a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger. (Luke 2:12 ESV)
Come, let us adore Him.