Monday, December 23, 2013

Why We Celebrate Christmas (The Short Version)

     Thousands of years ago, the earth was beautiful and perfect.  There was no death, no evil, no pain.  In a special paradise garden named "Eden", there lived a man and woman.  Their task was to tend the garden, and with them was the Creator of all this beauty and perfection, helping them, loving them, talking with them.
     At some time before this, there was a rebel among those who served the Creator.  One, Satan, committed treason, trying to exalt himself above the Creator.  He was promptly banished...but that was not the end of his tale, not yet.
     Taking the form of a serpent, Satan pursued the man and woman as an opportunity for revenge and possibly a restoration of the power that he craved.  With twisted words, he coaxed the woman into disobedience to the very Creator who had placed her in this beautiful and perfect place.  And through her, Satan coaxed the man into the same disobedience.  This was too easy -- his evil plan was going perfectly.  Evil, pain, sorrow, heartache, shame -- all bad things were now introduced into the once-perfect world.
     The Creator banished the man and woman from the garden.  It would be cruel, in their fallen condition, to let them live forever.  No, there was only one way to restore them to the former glories.
     He could have turned his back on them forever.  He could have scrapped that project and started over.  But the truth was that He loved these people, and He would no more abandon them than a loving parent would abandon a disobedient child.
     There was one thing that bound the Creator.  He could never go back on His word.  Once a promise was made, it could not be reversed.  And the law against disobedience and other twisted actions had been spoken...along with the punishment for it.  And it was a punishment that no man or woman could bear.
      But the Creator had a plan.  It was a great plan, a perfect plan, a plan that would take many generations to accomplish.  From the beginning, it was set in motion.
     For thousands of years, the hope for the One who would reverse the fall was passed down, reinforced by promises from the Creator.  And then one night, in a little town, a Baby was born.  For the first and only time, the Creator was born as a man.  He alone was great enough to bear the punishment...the punishment for all men and women of all time.  He alone could fulfill the requirements set out in His own Words.  He alone.
     He grew from a Baby into a Man.  He reversed the separation that had occurred between Creator and creation - to restore things to the way they were supposed to be.
     And there is yet more to the plan -- a part of it that we have yet to see.
     But the day that He was born was a special day, and that is why we set aside one day from the year (Christmas) to celebrate His coming.

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