Confessing Christ at Christmas

And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed." Luke 2:24-35

"Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person's enemies will be those of his own household. Matthew 10:34-36

I haven’t heard any Calvary Grace people complaining about the culture war at Christmas. I do see complaints on various media sources from professing Christians that municipalities are banning Nativity displays and cashiers don’t say “Merry Christmas.” I think this is because we emphasize good, biblical theology at Calvary Grace and we know that the Gospel will be offensive to people in any culture, not just ours. We don’t buy into the myth of the Christian nation. In the various societies in the world, true Christians have always been “strangers and pilgrims” (1 Peter 2:11 KJV). What is a wonder is that Christmas gets the attention that it does. We should seize the opportunity to tell people about Jesus and the purpose of the incarnation.

While we should expect unbelief and even rejection from some people when we tell them about Jesus, we should also expect that some will engage with the truth and believe. In our realistic expectations, we dare not become skeptics regarding God’s power to save through the power of the Gospel.

So then, strike up those conversations about Jesus as the only hope for the world. Present the Gospel clearly as history – supernatural history. If people reject what we have to say the truth is no less true. Jesus came to save sinners, yet the very author of life and salvation was rejected and killed. God’s gift of reconciliation with sinners was by this death. Christ rose bodily from the dead on the third day and now reigns in Heaven, “Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25)

So we live in the tension between our joyful obligation to share the Good News and the expectation that this act of love will be interpreted by some as offensive. This is true all year, but perhaps we have more opportunity to speak during the Christmas season. Let us pray for the courage and opportunity to confess Christ, come what may.