The Mystery Of Christmas
Here we are facing one of the great mysteries of the Christian faith, Christmas. The world interprets it as secular history, that this event took place where this little boy was born in some supernatural manner. The whole vast world heard that story and they continue to believe it. That is not the story of Christmas. The Bible is sacred history and sacred history is a process of selection and exclusion. It begins with the story of Abraham. And he was selected. We are told, in Abraham all the nations were to be blessed. There was no exclusion there, only selection.
Then we move from this first choice to a chosen people—which now excludes all others, the whole vast world called the heathen—the Christian. Then we find in this chosen people that only the remnant will be saved, which now excludes the majority of Israel. Then we find in this remnant a final reduction to one, Jesus Christ, who fulfills the divine will. When you hear the story you think of some one person 2,000 years ago. That is not Jesus Christ. Paul tells us in his wonderful letter to the Colossians, speaking of this mystery: “A mystery that has been hidden for ages and generations and only now made manifest…this mystery which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:26).
So here came the reduction all to you. Now Christ in you is the only one that is saved and that Christ in you is your very self. When you say “I am” that’s Christ; your own wonderful human Imagination that’s Christ. You will find the story of Jesus Christ unfolding within you after you reach that point where now you reverse the whole process and no more exclusion.
You start where you are born within yourself, and you move from Jerusalem above to all Samaria, all Judea, all the ends of the world, including now everyone. So this complete reversal from exclusion to inclusion… and everyone eventually is saved through Jesus Christ in us. So this is the story of Christmas. It hasn’t a thing to do with the story as the world has heard it and continues to hear it.
God himself came and comes into human history in the person of Jesus Christ in us; and this Jesus Christ that is in us is the one that is resurrected, the one that is born from above, the one that discovers himself as God the Father. So God came, it’s not another; when you speak of Jesus Christ, that’s God himself. Yes, in the drama he’s revealed as the Son…God in action is the Son…but when he returns to himself, he is God the Father. And that comes after this complete exclusiveness right down to one being. From all, into a small minority, into a smaller, into one; for there’s “only one body, one Spirit, one Lord, one God and Father of us all” and that is Jesus Christ in us.
Now, the Bible as it’s presented to us, no one makes a claim that it’s chronologically exact. Here we read in the story of Luke, and Luke makes a statement, “In as much as many have undertaken to assemble a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as they were delivered to us by those who were eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things accurately, to make an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the truth concerning the things of which you have been informed” (Luke 1:1-4). He makes no claim that his presentation of the story is chronologically exact. He does imply that his is a better arrangement of the source material.
Now, when you think of this story written in almost the end of the 1st Century, long after the so-called events took place, he has to depend either on his own experience or the eye-witnesses. And they are getting smaller and smaller, for people vanish from this world; and those who actually experienced it and those who heard of the experiences depart this world of Caesar…so fewer and fewer and still fewer remain.
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