The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
“What have you done for me lately?” I don’t know if any of the early Christians were so bold as to actually ask the question, but they were thinking it just the same: What had Jesus done for them lately? Since coming to know and confess him as Savior, they felt they weren’t any better off. They didn’t have more money. They didn’t have fewer problems. If anything, life had gotten harder, so much so that they were giving serious thought to disowning Christ.
What has Jesus done for you lately? Has he grown your bank account? Has he put an end to your family squabbles? Has he kept you from getting sick? Has he seen to it that none of your friends or loved ones have died? Has he made your life easier? No? Then what good is he? Maybe it’s not a question you have asked out loud or even in the quietness of your thoughts. And yet, if you’re like me, that question has affected your relationship with Jesus. If we have the feeling that Christ hasn’t done much for us lately, it probably shows in our worship life or lack thereof. We’re not spending time in his Word. We’re not talking to him in prayer. We’re not finding joy at church, or anywhere else for that matter, because we’re falling out of touch with the Giver of joy.
So what? What does it matter to Jesus if we deprive ourselves of his company? So what? That’s a question Jesus could ask too, but never would, because he made it his life’s mission to rescue us from our sin and every damning thought it conceives in our minds. Because we matter to Jesus, he left his throne in heaven to become one of us on that first Christmas. Because words alone can’t convey God’s love for sinners, Jesus put on our flesh and blood. He lived among us as the exact representation of God’s being to show us God’s love in action – the action of a life of sacrifice – a life lived perfectly and then surrendered substitutionally for you, for me, for all.
He came, not to enrich our bank accounts, or to keep our flesh from getting sick or even dying physically. He came to provide purification for sins. What grace! Jesus came for the sole purpose of saving us from sin’s guilt by claiming our guilt as his own. He came to free us from sin’s punishment in hell by enduring that punishment in our place. What has Jesus done for us lately? Everything! The One who was born the Christ-child so he could die to save us, has risen from the dead and is now at God’s right hand – the seat of all power – from which he rules all things with one goal in mind – to bring us safely to himself.
He who knows the balance of our bank accounts promises to supply all our needs. He who knows the troubles in our family, promises to be at work through his Word to heal the hurts caused by our careless words and thoughtless actions. He who is the Great Physician of body and soul promises to be at our side when we’re sick and promises to walk us through death’s dark valley when the time comes to call us home. Christmas shows us the loving heart of our God and renews our desire to proclaim and worship him in this special season and always!
Lord Jesus, whose birth we celebrate, grant us all a very blessed Christmas as we ponder for ourselves and proclaim the wonders of your birth. Amen.
In Preparation for Worship: