When we were in the United States recently, my husband bought a book that was just published about the life of Martin Luther. Sounds exciting, right? Well, actually, it is. Here was a devout monk and priest who really struggled with his faith. Luther actually admitted that he hated the righteous God because he could not keep the law, no matter how hard he tried. Luther spent hours and hours every day in confession. He became angry that God would expect him to be able to live the life of faith that he found described in the Bible.
And then one day, God opened his eyes, and he saw for the first time what the Good News of the Gospel is all about. Luther finally understood that Jesus’s birth, death, and resurrection accomplished for all humanity what he could not do on his own. He understood man’s sinful nature and totally embraced the fact that Jesus left His home in Heaven to become a human being in order to give us the gift of grace.
Eric Metaxas (2017, p. 97) cited Luther as saying:
God reached down not halfway to meet us in our vileness but all the way down, to the foul dregs of our broken humanity. And this holy and loving God dared to touch our lifeless and rotting essence and in doing so underscored that this is the truth about us. In fact, we are not sick and in need of healing. We are dead and in need of resurrecting. We are not dusty and in need of a good dusting; we are fatally befouled with death and toxic filth and require total redemption. If we do not recognize that we need eternal life from the hand of God, we remain in our sins and are eternally dead. (italics are mine)
As we celebrate Christmas this year, I encourage you to focus on the immense sacrifice that God made for us by sending His perfect, holy Son to this earth to die for our sins. I can’t even begin to comprehend what that must have been like for Jesus, the Son of God, to become a helpless baby, born in a filthy stable. This is not the quaint Christmas Pageant story that we picture when we think of Christmas. This is the Almighty God humbling Himself and coming to this broken world so that we might experience eternal life with Him. Wow!
Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon C. Brobst, Ed.D.