“You have given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand upholds me, and Your humility exalts me.”
Psalms 18:35 HCSB
Christmas is full of family, food, fun, presents, laughter, giving, doing, making, decorating, and cherishing.
But Christmas is not about any of these things. They are wonderful gifts, side effects of the great healing drought that is the fountain of life at the center of Christmas:
The surrender of Jesus Christ.
Sounds strange, doesn’t it? But the true definition of Christmas is the coming of God through the uterus of a peasant girl into the filthy manger of a paltry stable, unheeded, unwelcome, unimpressive. The essence of Christmas is the humiliation of God, the surrender of Christ, so that we might be exalted.
Truly, there is no way to rescue someone without getting down into the muck and mire they are drowning in. There is no way to lift someone up but to get up under them, to lower yourself to raise them. And that is exactly what Jesus did on Christmas morning some 2,000 and 20 years ago.
The rescue of a people so entangled in their own wickedness, rebellion, and mistakes, choked to spiritual death by their self-worship, appears impossible. But nothing is impossible with God. He did the impossible to save us through surrendering Himself to the point of death on a cross.
What should be our response?
“‘For nothing will be impossible with God.’
‘I am the Lord’s slave,’ said Mary. ‘May it be done to me according to your word.’ Then the angel left her.”
Luke 1:37-38 HCSB
Like Mary, our response to the surrender of our Savior should be surrender to our Savior.
Yes, this is why we surrender: “For nothing is impossible with God.”
We surrender because we are as helpless as Mary, a young, poor, unwed girl in a weak and oppressed nation. We need salvation.
We surrender because we are as undeservedly honored as she was, for we too carry God’s Son. Indeed, we have been united with Him into one Body of which He is the Head. By His humility we have been exalted, so we surrender in thanksgiving.
We surrender because of our need, our gratefulness and awe, and because of God’s worthy greatness to accomplish His will in us.
Just as God’s will was done in an unexpected way and despite impossible odds through the surrendered birth, life, death, and resurrection of Christ, so God’s will is also done through every child who joins in Christ’s new birth, obedient life, death to sin, and everlasting resurrection life by surrendered faith.
This Christmas, let us celebrate with thanksgiving and make an appropriate sacrifice of praise to our self-surrendering God by surrendering ourselves to Him.
What are you withholding from God? What are you afraid to entrust Him with? What are you fearful to be honest about? What do you doubt He can rescue you from?
Nothing is impossible with God, and nothing is unknown to Him. Surrender yourself and be saved, exalted, and rejoiced. And then, let us exalt our Savior.
O come, let us adore Him!