24 Dec Christmas Isn’t Cute
Many people struggle to connect the dots between the Christmas spirit and their lives this time of year. Gifts perfectly wrapped under the tree, family laughing around the fire place, the smell of favorite holiday comfort foods coming from the kitchen, the gentle snow falling effortlessly to the ground. This is the picture that has been painted for us. But what if the struggle for us to “feel” like Christmas is because we are looking at this glorious holiday through the wrong lens?
The Christmas story from the bible is far from cute. I dare say it resembles our lives more than the commercials we see on TV. There was an unexpected pregnancy, rumors and scandal, taxes, long and grueling travel, deceit, inadequate housing, and mass murder. That’s the Christmas story! Jesus shows up on the scene in the middle of all this mess and it’s the same for us. He is Immanuel, God with us.
Matthew knew this truth all too well. Before he writes his version of the Christmas story, he lists the genealogy of Christ. This list was to prove that Jesus is who He says He is, that He came from royal lineage. However, there’s some shady characters in the Messiah’s resume. Again, Matthew lists people who Jewish readers would have cringed at. Judah and his brothers (major family issues), Tamar (scandal), Rahab (prostitute), Ruth, (not even Jewish), Bathsheba (even more scandalous).
Matthew was a tax collector, a sinner, and despised before Jesus asked him to follow Him. What Matthew learned is that Jesus came to lift the lowly into His royal lineage. That’s the story of Christmas. We have joy because Jesus has come to save us right in the middle of our messy lives, not because we have gifts under the tree. We have peace because He is with us, not because everything is perfect.
Christmas isn’t cute and that’s good news for you and I.
“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’ ” – Matthew 1:23 NLT