Part 1: The World Did
The Christmas story didn’t begin with shepherds watching over their flocks, wise men following a star, and a young couple that couldn’t find a place to have their baby. It began much earlier than that, and it was more epic than anyone could have imagined. The Christmas story didn’t begin with Joseph and Mary in a manger. It began with God making an unbelievable, incoherent, and impossible promise to a man named Abraham. That promise carried through the entire history of ancient Israel and beyond.
Part 2: God Did
The Christmas story began in Genesis with God’s promise that through one man the entire world would be blessed. Apparently, the world needed blessing. But it wasn’t only the world that needed Christmas. God needed it too. The world needed Christmas. So God staged a demonstration and documented it so the world would know. He did it because we needed to see it to believe it. God had to be with us so we could know he was for us.
Part 3: We Do
We reduce Christmas to forgiveness. We can’t live up to God’s standards, so he sent Jesus to make things right. Maybe your entire experience with God has been: nobody’s perfect, but God forgives. That message isn’t necessarily incorrect, but it’s incomplete. The message of Christmas is bigger and better than that. We need Christmas because Jesus wants us to have life, and have it to the full. He came to save us from slavery to sin. He came to rescue us from the power of sin in us. We need Christmas because we need a savior.