by Terry J. Hallock

Man Had a Problem, God Had a Plan
T. J. Hallock
Luke 1:26-38; Galatians 4:4-5; 1 Corinthians 2:9-10
December 7, 2003

A sister in Christ emailed this story to me of a woman Christmas shopping with her children. After hours in the store with her children asking for everything they saw, she finally made it to the elevator and the end of her participation in this culture's yearly dance of mindless consumerism. Feeling pent up frustration and the overwhelming pressure so many of us feel at this time of year she blurted out, "Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be found, strung up and shot." From the back of the elevator a voice responded, "Don't worry we already crucified him."

Yes, Jesus is the one who started "this whole Christmas thing". And while the world didn't string Him up and shoot Him, they did crucify Him for it. Yet what the voice in that elevator did not say was that even when the world nailed Him to a tree He just wouldn't go away. Many in our culture still wish He would go away. They've done their best to keep His manger scene out of public squares and the story of His birth out of public schools. But He wouldn't go away after Calvary and He won't go away now, not until He accomplishes what He was born to do and make real in our lives what Christmas promises to our hearts. The One who started "this whole Christmas thing" isn't the problem. Trying to remove Him from Christmas is.

Galatians 4:4-5 tells us why Jesus was born, what He came to accomplish, and therefore what Christmas is all about. "But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons." Man had a problem and its name was sin. God had a plan and His name was Jesus.

When God unveiled His plan to redeem our sin-sick souls, release us from the grip of death, reconcile our alienated spirits to His heart, and renew our divine identity He invited a human partner to ...

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