Every year pastors, preachers and teachers are expected to come up with a fresh and new perspective of Christmas for their congregations. On some occasions this goal is achieved. Yet, many sermons crash and burn, wasting weeks of preparation making the simple complex. In reality, Christmas is the mass of Christ, a day of remembrance, thanksgiving and worship.
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost,” Luke 19:10.
In a summary of a conversation with a tax collector, Jesus provides a Christmas for Dummies answer. The context of the passage above refers to the fall of mankind, also known as original sin. God gave Adam and Eve just one rule in the Garden of Eden, “You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die,” Genesis 3:2. When lust entered into Eve’s heart, she influenced her husband Adam to ignore God’s law, taking and eating fruit. This act of disobedience enabled sin to enter the world, resulted in expulsion from the garden, severed an intimate relationship with God and gave Satan authority and dominion over the earth. Jesus’ birth came to seek and save what was lost back here.
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel,” Genesis 3:15.
During an exchange with one of his fallen angels, God prophecies for the first time about the need to send his one and only son, John 3:16. If you have seen the Passion of the Christ, this symbolism is played out while Jesus is praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, stomping on the head of a serpent at the end of his prayer. While Satan convinces first century religious leaders to execute Jesus’ crucifixion, the resurrection served as a check mate moment, foiling forever any demonic attempts to change the spiritual course of history. However, this is one catch.
In which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience, Ephesians 2:2.
God allows the Devil, aka Satan to retain his former angelic powers that he possessed while serving as the archangel Lucifer. When you add this fact to a confession by one of Jesus’ disciples, Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour-1 Peter 5:8, this threat is real. This why evil continues to exist on earth. Therefore, while Jesus has his own birthday on our calendar, the ongoing spiritual war does not stop. The fight for the eternal destiny of souls is a fierce battle, taking many innocent individuals to their graves. While singing Christmas carols today in church may inspire or move you, make sure you guard your heart and mind, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, so that the hope of Christmas will not be lost again.
by Jay Mankus