WHY I CELEBRATE THE INCARNATION (aka CHRISTMAS)
I’ll never forget the day the Lord touched and melted my heart from anger and resentment toward the Gentiles. Of course I never realized that I had those feelings! But they weren’t too far from the surface.
THE ICE STORM
From the window in my basement apartment, I could only look up. The view was breath-taking as the sun’s brilliance glinted off the ice. The entire back yard gleamed like a multi-faceted diamond.
Despite the beauty, the scene before me was be dangerous. Tree limbs, burdened by the weight of the ice would soon break causing havoc.
But my attention was captivated by the leaves of the bush outside my window. Each no larger than my the nail on my little finger, was entombed by an icy shroud.
“What happened to cause their bondage?” I mused.
Tears ran down my cheeks. I wasn’t crying for the leaves that had obviously been battered by the storm. How many ice storms have I suffered through? Ice storms of rejection, abandonment and betrayal so common in many lives.
“O God, have years of emotional pain entombed my heart in an icy grave?
“Please Abba, by Your Spirit, please melt my icy heart.”
GOD ANSWERED BOTH PRAYERS
Much later I learned that a pastor had propheticaly prayed those very words over me the previous week!
God was about to answer both our prayers.
As my daily custom, I went to my desk and began to read Scripture. Next on my schedule was Psalm 117
Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles!
Laud Him, all you peoples!
For His merciful kindness is great toward us,
And the truth of the Lord endures forever.
“Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?, Is it not lawful for Me to do what I wish with My own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?” (Mathew 20
“The Jews gave the Gentiles Jesus, now can you accept their gift of Christmas? And because you were so public about My followers NOT celebrating My birth, I want you now to publicly proclaim your celebration of My Incarnation.”
So I not only told my story on the local Christian TV station, but the local paper picked it up as well. The headline read:
LOCAL EVANGELIST HAS PERSONAL REVIVAL
To make my celebration complete, the TV station handed me my first Christmas tree.
I went to work:
- It was “flocked” to represent the ice storm!
- A crown of thorns was it’s top-piece
- It wore a tall it (Jewish prayer shawl)
- All the decorations were red balls for the blood of Jesus.
How better to celebrate the Incarnation of the Salvation of Israel?
Now these many years later, I am living in Jerusalem, just a few miles where God became a man. Sadly celebrating Christmas is still an issue between Jewish and Gentile followers of Jesus. Nevertheless, whether or not we celebrate the holiday, let us always celebrate the miracle of the Incarnation.