RELIGION COLUMN: Christmas is a reminder

Published 10:46 am Friday, December 27, 2013

By Jake McCall

Christmas declares that Jesus was born here in the world that he created. He was born in our world, and that is to say that he came to our world instead of remaining in the heavenly places. In John’s gospel, Jesus tells us why he came here: “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:17)

It is commonplace for neighborhoods or cities to decline over time. My wife, for instance, grew up in a neighborhood in the northern Birmingham area that has regressed from being a nice place to live and is now an unsafe area. When this type of decline happens, many people move away to a new place and never look back, which usually makes things worse.

Christmas tells us that Jesus does not work that way. Christmas reminds us that despite the decline of the world, and despite it being a poor and unsafe place to dwell, Jesus came to dwell here. Christmas tells us that even though God could have started over somewhere else, he loved this world. God could have left us as we are: in our state of decline, certain to destroy the world in which we live while destroying ourselves at the same time.

God also could have come to condemn the world, and would have had every right to do so, but he chose instead to love the world. Therefore, Christmas is a reminder that Jesus came to save this place. He cares about that which he created and he is a redeemer. The Bible tells us that Jesus came to save us from our sins and to defeat the works of the devil. This is because he has not turned his back on this world and he has not turned his back on us. In a few days, we will celebrate the birth of Christ, and my hope is that it reminds us that no matter how bad things get, Christ can enter in—not to condemn, but to save. It’s just what Jesus does. Merry Christmas!

—Jake McCall is a religion columnist for The Clanton Advertiser. He is the pastor at Grace Fellowship Presbyterian Church. His column appears each Thursday.