Christmas 2017: Where Is God?

Dec 23rd, 2017 | By | Category: Culture & Wordview, Featured Issues

In this Postmodern, Post-Christian age where a secular skepticism reigns supreme, one often hears the question, where is God; if He exists, why doesn’t He show Himself? Or, where is God in the carnage of the civil wars in Syria and Yemen? Where is God in the devastation of the summer hurricanes that ravaged the Caribbean, Texas and Florida? Where is God in the death of a relative or a close friend? Where is God in that universal equalizer of all humanity—death? Where was God in that backwater town 2,000 years ago where a poor, pregnant woman was denied lodging, in the smell of hay and manure, in the pain of childbirth, in the escape to Egypt?

For Christians, Christmas is about Incarnation—the Creator stooping to enter His creation. The Incarnation challenges the proposition that this is a purely physical and purposeless universe, inhabited by cosmic accidents whose eternal value is doubtful. It also shatters myths about God: He is not distant and unreachable; He is not uncaring and unconcerned; He is not unmerciful and arbitrary. It is about God revealing Himself in Jesus as the living, compassionate, merciful, gracious Savior; the Creator is now forever identified with the creature. The Incarnation declares that God cares. As pastor and theologian Tim Keller affirms, “He is so committed to our ultimate happiness that he was willing to plunge into the greatest depths of suffering himself.” For that reason, Christians always connect Christmas with Easter, for the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus afforded the path to redemption.

The Incarnation also dignifies the common, the everyday. Jesus was a child who needed care, a carpenter who worked with His hands, a preacher who associated with the “least of these.” The Gospels demonstrate that He spent most of His time with the poor, the forsaken, the powerless and the “unclean.” The Incarnation likewise validates the importance of relationships: Jesus called His followers “friends” and He laughed, mourned and celebrated with them. Finally, the Incarnation demonstrates the dignity, value and worth of every human being, for Jesus took on flesh, entered our world and shared our experiences.

This history-altering event—what C.S. Lewis calls “the Grand Miracle” of Christianity—makes our secular world uncomfortable. It prefers Jesus in a crèche, warm and cuddly, surrounded by animals with a pulsating star overhead. But the message of Christianity is that He won’t stay in those swaddling clothes in that manger, any more than He would stay in a tomb wrapped in a shroud. The risen Christ dispels the darkness of humanity and offers them hope: No other major religion has a founder who is God or one who dies so others may live. The vital center of Christianity is that I did not enter God’s world; in shocking humility, He entered mine—and that is an eternally significant truth. No wonder that a choir of innumerable angels broke out in

rapturous, spontaneous song that Christmas morning, frightening a few shepherds but shaking the entire universe.

For this secular culture, Christmas challenges us to consider that there is something transcendent, eternal and greater than us. It answers the question, where is God? Christmas is about the Lord of two worlds—the material and the spiritual—descending to live, for a season, by the rules of the one, so that He could resolve its dysfunction, disharmony and discord. The Puritan theologian Stephen Charnock answers the skeptical secularist of 2017: “That God upon a throne should be an infant in a cradle; the thundering Creator be a weeping babe and a suffering man, are such expressions of mighty power, as well as condescending love, that they astonish men upon earth and angels in heaven.” PRINT PDF

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4 Comments to “Christmas 2017: Where Is God?”

  1. Richard Pendell says:

    At every level of creation, to effect permanent change you must enter at the most fundamental, core level. To redeem Man from inevitable self-destruction and carrying the weight of his own sinful nature into eternal rebellion, God needed to enter into Man’s predicament at the cellular, genetic level in the birth of a human/divine Savior. Nothing less would open the door to Man’s salvation. He had planned this entrance since before our present Universe came into being. It wasn’ an afterthought. This is the true reason for Christmas celebration.

    • TRUTHBETOLD says:

      Well in reality xmas is multiple pagan rituals which the catholic church brought into the christian churches and if you look it doesnt take much to find out the truth….. go and see whose birthday dec 25th really is

      Just like the jews cant rename the star of remphan (acts 7:43) to something to do with God, you cant redo a pagan birthday….. paul never heard of such a thing but you accept that which isnt true….

  2. TRUTHBETOLD says:

    Christmas challenges us to consider that there is something transcendent, eternal and greater than us. It answers the question, where is God?

    Wait a minute what?!? Christmas does this? Do we not find out where God is by His word?
    You’ve accepted a pagan b-day and renamed it Jesus b-day….
    You’ve built the muslim dome on the rock over Gods temple(s)

    Where does paul say: men every year we have a day for Jesus birth – everything about xmas is from one pagan religion or another and the catholic church…… were never told about observing this day about his birth but we are told about days we are to take part in….. I believe Jesus lays out those days somewhere….. you were born with a pagan Jesus bday holiday and its hard to quite but paul wouldnt have anything to do with it otherwise he would of told us….. correct?

  3. TRUTHBETOLD says:

    Jesus was a child who needed care, a carpenter who worked with His hands, 

    No where does the bible tell us Jesus was a carpenter….. we should stick to the only truth we have about Jesus and put away parts that arent true or backed up by the word…. also craftsman is a better suited word from the greek translation….