Missing Christmas and applying Christmas
Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 27, 2008
Mark was the youngest of the four Gospel writers and the only one who omitted the information on the miraculous virgin birth of Jesus. Mark was not obsessed with how Jesus arrived on earth but with how the life, works, words and ministry of Jesus fulfilled what the last two chapters of the Old Testament predicted (see Malachi 3-4 and Mark 1:1-11).
We might say that Mark missed Christmas, but he called Jesus “the Christ, the Son of God” (Mark 1:1) and proved the same in his 16 fast moving chapters.
The Apostle Paul makes at least two references to the Virgin Birth. First, in Galatians 4:4 he writes, “But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman.” Then in 1 Timothy 3:16, he writes, “God was manifest in the flesh.” But throughout the 13 New Testament books the Great Apostle wrote, he uses the Virgin Birth of Jesus as motivation for daily humility, sacrifice and servant hood for all believers. For instance, as Paul challenged the Corinthian believers to give sacrificially he wrote, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, although he was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich” (see 2 Corinthians 8:9).
But the most notable passage in which Paul uses the Virgin Birth as motivation for our daily attitude is Philippians 2:5-8. He begins by saying, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus,” and then he explains the attitude.
Before the Virgin Birth, Jesus, in heaven with God the Father, was in very nature God. But being equal with God was not a reality that Jesus was not willing to give up. Rather, he emptied himself and took the very nature of a servant and was made in human likeness as a man. As such He humbled himself and became obedient to death — even the death of the cross.
So, no matter how much of a giving spirit you may have had at Christmas time or no matter how self centered you may have been, Jesus Christ is our example, our challenge and our helper. His attitude was one of self sacrifice, servant hood, humility and obedience. We are commanded to have His attitude in order to relate to God and to relate to others as we leave Christmas to have a fulfilling New Year.