Tri-City Chinese Baptist Church

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year — Candace Choy

This is my favorite time of year – Christmas is hands down my favorite holiday. Perhaps I’m a nostalgic sap or a big sucker for traditions. Regardless, there is something about Christmas and hosting and having family and friends celebrating together that claims a special place in my heart. I hope that, in my heart, Christmas season is really “Christ season,” and that as I put up decorations and prepare presents and gatherings and events, that my heart is preparing room to celebrate and host because of the greatest joy and peace we find in knowing that Christ incarnate dwelt among us.

As I prepared for Christmas this year, I wanted to contemplate the necessity of this important theological truth – that Christ came in human flesh to save us from our sin. God could have saved us in many ways, but why was it in his grand plan to send his only begotten Son to live and die as we should have? Why couldn’t Christ have come and walked our earth in the fullness of his deity? Why did Christ veil his glory in his humanity? Why does Christ retain his humanity even now as he dwells in heaven? Why is this not just a logical argument or a concept to be debated by scientists and the secular world? Why is this truth so important to what we believe?

Hebrews 2:14-15 says: [14] Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, [15] and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.

Praise God, Christ came in flesh and blood so that he might destroy death, for if he was not human and if he did not die, then he would not have overcome the grave as it’s a once-for-all conqueror, and we would have no hope beyond our life!

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh

Praise God, Jesus became flesh, veiling his deity and taking on human form for all eternity, so that we might know his great love and great humility as the perfect example and as a great encouragement to our faith! In our weaknesses, he knows us because he became like us.

Hebrews 2:17-18 [17] Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. [18] For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Praise God that we have a Great High Priest who sits victorious in heaven, making it possible for us to approach His throne of grace and experience His communion and fellowship—the same communion and fellowship that He partakes in with the Father. Praise Him for He is able to help us in our temptations and empathize with our humanity, and what hope that gives us in every circumstance!

In even the briefest reflection of Christ’s goodness and kindness in His coming, my response can only be one of gratitude. In every situation we have now a Savior—an interceding and exceedingly Great High Priest—that knows as we do the struggles and temptations of this life, the suffering and the vast span of emotions we experience, and such reflection ought to fill us with infinite comfort and confidence as we wade through the mysteries of this life.

How merciful! How kind! And if my response of gratitude in this season doesn’t shape every festive interaction, every delicious moment, every family tradition, and every kindling of relationship, I must reorient my heart to remember the true reason for the season. The heart of all Christian hospitality should be gratitude – an overwhelming sense of it as the light of the merciful kindness of our God fills us—who showed his love for us by sending His own Son, our Christ, to be as one of us, yet greater in every way.

If I’m motivated by envy (mine or someone else’s) or pride or vanity or guilt or fear or just plain old tradition, I lose the opportunity to experience the indwelling joy that serves as a foundation for Christian hospitality, that comes from knowing the truth that our Christ is wholly human and wholly God and that, even in our misdirected motivations, he came full of grace and truth to dwell among us.

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