Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A real nativity

I am always moved by a nativity. I think the word I would use to best capture it is C S Lewis's word for the gospel- 'wonder'. It captures all the nice bits-presents, babies, kings, shepherds- and everybody sighs a happy collective ahhh.

But is this the true Christmas?

This article 'Yes, I cried at the nativity too?' embodies the cultural and secular problem we find ourselves in. Christmas has becomes all about our obsession with kids and nothing at all about our need of God, the Cross, and Salvation. Some parents in West London, so someone told me recently, are spending hundreds of pounds on costumes from Harvey Nic's so that little Jemima can be '...the best angel Gabriel she can be'. We have seemingly reached a place that Michael Horton has termed Christ-less Christianity. Trendy journalist's like Robert Crampton have long since written off the gospel and moved on.

"When is the penny going to drop with Christianity? Death, martyrdom, suffering, pain, loss, blood, these are not concepts with which any brand would want to be identified. If that’s the core of your message, no wonder you’ve got a problem."

Here is a man who has failed to be told the gospel nor understood it. Someone said to me on Sunday morning at church that their family had decided not to come on a Christian camp because "....it isn't cool". Following Jesus has never been cool and it never will be. Jesus dying on the cross with nails in his hands and feet for my sin is unlikely ever to be in fashion.

Are we now a nation of the Jesus-less, gospel-less Christmas?

If so, we should be both sad and scared.

If God has called you to preach anything this Christmas, my prayer is that it might be the gospel.

Check out 'Born of the Gospel' if you want to know what I mean.

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