I considered calling this post “Why the Grinch loves Christmas.” As longtime readers know, I am not known for a love of festive music. We don’t decorate our house until about a week or two before Christmas. I still haven’t seen all of Elf, and my favorite Christmas movie is Die Hard. (But we do get our shopping done well in advance, so there’s that.)
Appearances to the contrary, I actually do love Christmas. I love my kids’ reactions when they open gifts. I love getting to cook a delicious meal or two (or three). I love having an excuse to listen to “This is War” (which I realize isn’t terribly festive by many people’s standards, but it’s pretty rad). But what I really love about Christmas isn’t about any of those things. It’s about the reason behind Christmas—that in the incarnation, we have the inauguration of the final phase of God’s war on sin and death.
That in the incarnation, God himself came down into his creation to do battle for us—and in Christ, we can see God.
It’s easy to forget this truth when we’re lulled into a state of despair from hearing “Mary Did You Know” one too many times.1 But it’s what’s captivated the hearts and minds of Christians for centuries, for it is the lynchpin of our entire religion. As Charles Spurgeon writes:
You have only to read the Gospels, and to look with willing eyes, and you shall behold in Christ all that can possibly be seen of God. It is veiled in human flesh, as it must be; for the glory of God is not to be seen by us absolutely. It is toned down to these dim eyes of ours; but the Godhead is there, the perfect Godhead in union with the perfect manhood of Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be glory forever and ever.2
This is the thing to be most excited about when we celebrate Christmas—for Christmas isn’t merely about fellowship, and spreading goodwill (though those are good things). Christmas came so we might see God. Let us rejoice and be glad in this good news.