Why all this fuss about Christmas?

This is an academic paper I submitted to my Basic Christian Doctrine Class July 7, 2008.

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As the houses and storefronts are decorated with the adornments of the season and people are bustling trying to perform the duties that have been added to their normal routine, some may wonder, “Why we are doing all this?” Some would say it is a pagan ritual/holiday and Christians should completely set it aside. Should we? Certainly not! None of this fuss is about the lights, not about Santa Claus, not about mistletoe and holly, not even about caroling. All this fuss is over one event that took place over 2000 years ago and the effect it has brought upon the world.

In a far-off village in a Middle Eastern country then called Judea, a child was born. No influential landowner could lay claim to him. He was born of a young woman who had never been married or consummated the relationship with her betrothed, Joseph. This child was born of a virgin. Why? It was necessary that “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us,” (John 1:14a) because God loved us so much that he wanted to show us the way of Salvation. Conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, God became human. Mary contributed to his humanness but the participation of the Holy Spirit made him God.[1] One night in a remote Middle Eastern country called Judea, Mary became the mother of God.

So what is all the fuss? This child is not just any child; he “came from the Father full of grace and truth” (John 1:14B); he is the payment for sin. We, as humans, have failed to render God his due[2] and nothing we can do, no sacrifice we make, can ever satisfy God’s requirement that the wages of sin be paid. Nothing we do – not even our own physical death can render payment for our transgression against God. Nevertheless, this child born of a virgin and conceived by the Holy Spirit, freely suffered death on a cross to pay those wages for the sins of the world. Why did it require his death? He is the only man who ever lived who could not die; he is without sin – he is God. After suffering that death on the cross, after three days, he was made alive again. He was not a misty spirit, but alive as human; able to do things in his resurrected, glorified state that we, in our sinful state, are unable to do.

So what is all the fuss? This child is not just any child; he “came from the Father full of grace and truth” (John 1:14B); he is the Savior of the World. This child grew up to be a great teacher, an example of love and truth and “opened the way to God.”[3] He loved so tremendously that chose death so that we could know God.

So what is all the fuss? This child is just any child; he “came from the Father full of grace and truth” (John 1:14B); he is the conqueror of death and sin. In Adam, we are all slaves to sin and must die. However, this child, in obedience to the Father, claimed victory over sin and death through his life, death and resurrection. Our victorious conqueror will return one day and take us to the place he has prepared for us that we may live with him in glory.

So what is all the fuss? This child is not just any child; he “came from the Father full of grace and truth” (John 1:14B); he is the head of a new humanity. This child, this savior is “inviting us to be joined to him and to his body – the church….”[4] Because God became human in this child, he is able to lead us into a new life, a new humanity. When we trust in his Lordship, this new humanity is able, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to live in holiness, pleasing God. This is not of ourselves but it is a gift of God.

Why would God do such a thing? This child is not just any child; he is “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory from the One and only, who came from the Father full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). This child is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Son of man and the light of the world shining forth to the world so that we might be reconciled to God. This is the Good News of God’s love for us! We celebrate the birth of the Savior, Emmanuel – God with us! What is the reason for all your fuss?


[1] Anselm. Documents of the Christian Church. Comp. Bettenson Henry. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford Universty P, 1963. 139.

[2] Anselm. Documents of the Christian Church. Comp. Bettenson Henry. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford Universty P, 1963. 138.

[3] Gonzalez, Justo L., and Zaida M. Perez. An Introduction to Christian Theology. Nashville: Abingdon P, 2002. 85.

[4] Gonzalez, Justo L., and Zaida M. Perez. An Introduction to Christian Theology. Nashville: Abingdon P, 2002. 89.

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