CHRISTMAS: THE BIRTH OF TRANSFORMATIVE CHRISTIANITY

The most powerful scriptures on Christmas you will find in the Bible are not just those that describe the birth of the King of kings step by step of the way nor are they the ones that tell us how the shepherds or the wise men brought gifts for the little one born in a manger. These scriptures are important in that they capture graphically what went down on the "25th December", and so because of this we need these scriptures, they have their place. However, the most important scriptures on Christmas are the ones that tell us the purpose of this day and its significance, its impacts on humanity.  And I found two of them in the book of John.

First, we have the old famous scripture in John 3:16,

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life"

God motivated by love for humanity devised a plan of salvation and transformation for humanity and that is by sending his Son on Christmas day. The end goal of Christmas day was the transformation of humanity. The birth of Christ was to unleashed upon humanity, a new lease of life!

The second scripture is found in 1 John 3:8, here the purpose of Christmas was defined but using another set of words,

"He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil"

The transformation and the salvation of humanity from death to life cannot be carried out by Christ unless first, the works of the devil were destroyed. This is what this scripture highlights, there is no spiritual change without spiritual confrontation. There can be no spiritual revolution without trampling on old spiritual traditions. To birth spiritual transformation, which was what Christ did, the old order of sin and tradition was confronted and then destroyed! Spiritual change as transformative as it is comes along with some sort of spiritual confrontation and destruction! Jesus said at one point that no one can enter into a strong man's house, establish a new order,  except he first binds the strong man!

Christ was born and from the first day of His life to the last, he went about countering the culture of his day, confronting the works of the devil, trampling on dead spiritual traditions, expounding revelations of the word, and causing people to think and live in a new way. The master while here didn't conform, He transformed the world!

Many instances in Matthew 5 he pointed out how the new revelation, the new way of living he was proposing at the moment runs counter to what was before. An example in Matthew 5:21-22

"Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill, and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire".

Ye have heard it said that this is the way, but here and now I show you a better way, the master seems to say. This was the one born to the world on Christmas day.

Christmas, therefore, heralds the birth of the spiritual disruptor, who changes the course of humanity from the path of destruction to that of salvation and transformation! He did that by challenging, confronting, and destroying that which the culture of his day celebrated and brought about a new order for humanity: an order of life and peace! And after he died on the cross of the calvary and rose the third day he told us and charge us to do the same that he has done. In John 20:21 he said to us

"Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so, send I you"

He was sent to change the world, to transform the world, to counter the ways of the world with the ways of God expounded in the word, and these are what we are sent to do as well! Christmas not only herald the birth of a savior that changed the world but also the spiritual birth of many saviors that will keep changing their world even after the first savior is gone, hence Christmas is the birth of transformative Christianity! Christianity that will change the world must not conform to the world. This we must put at the back of our mind as we navigate this yuletide season.

In recent times we have seen a church that is no different from the world. We have seen a church that seems intent on copying the world and rather than the church changing the world we see the world changing the church! When the world evaluates issues on whether it makes sense, we see the church towing the same line of sense instead of that of discernment. Rather than transform we see a church that conforms in every way imaginable. What scares the world now scares the church, if the world is afraid of a virus, the church also is! What excites the world now excites the church, what the world celebrates the church too, celebrates! Rather than transforming the world the church is conforming to the world, but we are not conformers, but transformers, and those who will transform their world cannot conform to the world!

The Christmas story heralds the birth of the greatest transformer that ever walked on the surface of the earth, and as we celebrate his birth let us be mindful of our calling as Paul spelled them out in Romans 12:1-2

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God"

Those who conform cannot transform, those who conform will be deformed! We must not allow this to happen to us that we become "so well adjusted" as the Message translation puts it, to the culture that is around us without even thinking! And that seems like what has happened lately, the church has blended into the world without knowing and has lost its cutting edge. Been on-trend seems more important than hearing from God, hence we follow the trend, the course of the world, rather than flowing with God!

From here their must be a change where all that matters to us as believers is flowing with God rather than trending with the world!

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU

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