The Mystery of Christmas
At Christmastime we traditionally turn to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke to read of the first advent of Christ, as well we should. Even in the Christmas special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Charles Schultz reminded his viewers of the true meaning of Christmas by having Linus quote Luke 2 straight out of the Bible. Yet we also would benefit by looking at the wider context of Jesus’ birth—a context that begins in heaven.
[Jesus,] who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:5–11).
who was perfect in deity was also perfect in His humanity—truly God and
truly man. While we cannot achieve perfection in this lifetime, the
very context of the passage above exhorts us to imitate the model of
Jesus’ humility in all our relationships.
In this issue of Kindred Spirit we’ll look at the mystery of Jesus’ deity and His humanity. The subject could not be more appropriate, as we live in a time when best-selling books and seminars challenge both.
Together we’ll consider the Lord’s incarnation from the perspective of angels and ponder with them how the King of heaven would leave His throne to make Himself lower than one of them. We’ll also consider five women of Christmas who were recorded in Jesus’ genealogy. They form a most unlikely group, just like the rest of us to whom God has reached out in His mercy to save.
Also in this issue readers will find a profile of Dallas Seminary professor, Dr. Oscar López. The Lord has enabled Oscar and his wife, Peggy, to forgive men who kidnapped them at the Guatemalan border and held them captive for several days. The Lópezes remind us of the enormous transformation the perfect God-Man came to make in our lives.
As we’re caught up in the rush of Christmas parties, fruitcake exchanges, choir rehearsals, and concerts, let’s be sure we pause to be mindful of the mystery of the season: God became God-with-us through a human womb. The eternal context of Christ makes the story of His birth all the more breathtaking: “Before Abraham was, I AM!” Linus was right: Jesus is “what Christmas is all about.”
—Mark L. Bailey