Newbigin and Why Christmas Matters

December 24, 2009


I love Christmas.  Probably not as much as my wife loves Christmas, but I still love it.  There’s the family time, the food, the presents, the relaxation (or familiar holiday craziness) and all mixing together in one great big closing highlight as we take time to look back on the year and look forward to the burgeoning new year.

Today as I continue to read The Open Secret by Lesslie Newbigin I was reminded of that thing which, above all, makes Christmas so special:

The Bible does not tell stories which illustrate something true apart from the story.  The Bible tells a story which is the story, the story of which our human life is a part.  It is not that stories are part of human life, but that human life is part of a story.  It is not that there are stories which illustrate “how things are”; it is that we do not begin to understand how things are unless we understand how they were and how they will be.  (Newbigin, The Open Secret 92)

It’s not just the story, or “the reason for the season”.  It’s that we live in the story that God tells, and that his telling of how things were and how they are going to be has enabled us to live meaningfully in the present (how things are).

Christmas is special, because in the coming of God in the form of a baby over 2000 years ago my world was changed.  And every year around December 25th I remember with others that enormous leap in the story that in the Bible’s terms (Ac. 2:17; Heb. 1:2; Jas. 5:3; I Pe. 1:2 and many others), has catapulted us in to the last days as God’s restoration has already begun in Christ!

Merry Christmas indeed!

(BTW – the main impetus for this post is a conversation I had last week with a guy in our church who has stopped reading his Bible because it just isn’t relevant for him anymore.  This post is one of the reasons I cannot imagine living without a daily study of the story God says encompasses us all)

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