Stanton is a small town of 1,500 in Northeast, Nebraska. The local EFCA church there is led by Clint Hogrefe. Recently at his blog he makes the case, or argument as to why we need Christmas. In drawing attention to what certain EFCA pastors are saying this blog wanted to feature Clint’s post.
“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
Luke 2:15-20 ESV
Manger scene from the San Rafael Mission in California
Clint Hogrefe is the Senior Pastor of Stanton Evangelical Free in Nebraska. Stanton is in Northeast Nebraska and has a population of about 1,500. Clint Hogrefe writes an active blog called, “Clint’s Corner” Recently at Chris’ blog he did a post about why we need Christmas and sought to make his case. For those interested Clint writes an active blog and this has some interesting content to read. You can read it on his blog in, “Why We Need Christmas.”
Christmas is next week. I suspect you are already aware of that, but it’s hard to believe that in a year whose days have seemed to crawl by at the speed of turtles, Christmas is now just a week away. Praise God. We need Christmas, especially this year.
Christmas is, of course, not just a holiday where families come together to feast and exchange colorfully wrapped gifts around a sparkly decorated evergreen tree. Christmas is when Christians remember and celebrate the incarnation of the Son of God. God came to us in the flesh in the person of Jesus, the son of Mary. We love the story of his birth in the humblest of circumstances. For those who have come to recognize that Jesus is our salvation and our life, it humbles us to the ground to think the Son of God would stoop to such a lowly state, in order to redeem us.
As you celebrate with your families, don’t forget why the Son of God came into the world. It was not just to provide for us a wonderful holiday at the beginning of winter. It was not just to give us warm feelings for each other and do something charitable at least once a year. In the Gospel of Matthew, when the angel appeared before Joseph to inform him of the reason why his betrothed, Mary was pregnant, he also revealed the mission for God’s Son. The angel commanded Joseph, “You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matt. 1:21) The angel implies something that we don’t like to admit about ourselves, that we are sinners. Not just that we are sinners, but that our sin-problem is so bad, that God had to send his Son into the world in order to suffer and die on a cross to save us from our sins. Talk about being humbled.
This certainly reveals our greatest need as humans. It is not to be saved from a virus. It is not to be saved from any particular political system or party. It is not even to be saved from poverty or from those who annoy us. It is to be saved from our sins. Sins that we voluntarily commit out of envy, pride, or lust. God’s Word says in our sins, we are under the condemnation of God. We are in big trouble with God. But, out of His grace, He sent us a Savior, His own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
We really need Christmas, not just because we have had to live through such a difficult year, but mainly because we need to be saved from our sins. Praise God, He sent us the Savior we needed. Is he your Savior?