The Christmas story is all about new life, but perhaps not in the way you are thinking.
Now, as a reminder, this new series is about going deeper in the Christmas story, or learning what Christmas really is all about, biblically-speaking anyways.
When God created Adam, he did it in the most unique and beautiful way. In many Ancient Near Eastern accounts, the creation of mankind is similar to the biblical account, yet at the same time vastly different. The ANE accounts proclaim that humanity was created using dirt from the earth and the blood of fallen gods. The biblical account proclaims that God, in and of himself, created the first human, Adam, from the dirt of his creation and the breath that proceeded from him (Gen. 2:7).
What we need to notice is that God created Adam from a virgin earth. For at that point, nothing had been produced from the land, it had not given life to anything, Adam would be the first (Gen. 2:5). So consider this, Adam was created, not from man’s initiative or from a fallen god’s blood, but by the very will of God.
The creation of Adam is of God’s initiative. This is important, let me explain.
As Adam was disobedient, his disobedience would be reflected in all people and over the entire creation from that moment forward. Yet, just as Adam’s creation was God’s initiative, so would the coming of the second Adam be by God’s initiative.
As a virgin earth and the breath of God brought life to the first Adam, so a virgin womb and the power of the Holy Spirit (the breath of God) brought about the incarnation.
God becoming man, Jesus, Emmanuel, the incarnation, is about humanity not falling in line with the first Adam, but the second Adam, the One who would be obedient to God’s word. The One who would pray to the Father, “not my will but yours.”
This “other stuff” of Christmas is vital in that the Christmas story is about new life being formed in us, not in the way of Adam the fallen, but Jesus the Victor.
Now, why does all this matter? Well remember, we gain information as followers not to be smart and impress others, but to help us in our new creation self, fashioned in the Way of Jesus.
Information leads to transformation.
Ever said, “I’m just a sinner saved by grace”? Well, that is a half truth with a high nod towards your old self. Instead, we would say, “I am a saint saved by grace.” The old has gone, the new has come. We do not operate in the old self, fashioned in the way of Adam and Eve. We are saved by Jesus to operate in The Way of Jesus.
God becoming man, being born of a virgin, not by man’s will, but by God’s will, is a full blown showing of God’s heart that we live the life we were created to live. So the beauty of Christmas, God with us, is God and sinner reconciled and it is sinners becoming saints, learning to live in the power of the Spirit. Here we are formed by God’s word, we trust God’s word, we live by God’s word. In other words, unlike Adam and Eve who questioned God’s word, our new life in Christ revolves around God’s word.
Christmas is all about new life.
Luke is Pastor of Discipleship to the community of saints, in Christ, at Nashville UMC.