From the desk of Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling:
Among the myriad of excellent Christmas presentations I’ve attended this year, one phrase in one program has especially lingered with me. “Jesus Christ came on purpose and with a purpose.” That’s it. Just 9 words, and yet I find myself regularly sharing it with people and saying it in my prayers as an expression of truth and thankfulness.
In the fullness of time, God sent forth His Son…at exactly the right moment, with the Father’s exact planning, accomplishing every detail, no matter how small, of how He would come, when He would come, where He would come. Jesus Christ did indeed come on purpose.
Jesus Christ also came for a purpose—a very specific purpose—to become our Savior. For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him might have eternal life. That’s the purpose—it meant several years of public ministry, miracles and rejection by His own people; it meant ultimately the cruelest form of death at that time—crucifixion—complete with scourging, a crown of thorns, bearing His own cross, mocking, spitting, unbelief and disbelief—but the Sovereign purpose was accomplished. Jesus Christ took my sins and your sins on Himself—the holy Son of God—and paid a debt you and I could never pay. Praise God—included in the purpose was Jesus Christ’s incredible, miraculous resurrection! Yes, Jesus Christ’s coming was truly for a purpose—the redemption of mankind, the reconciliation of the sinful creation to the holy Creator God.
At another of the programs where we were all part of the throngs gathering in Bethlehem to pay taxes and report for the commanded census, one of the Bethlehem merchants stood outside the stable and said to us in character, “What an incredible night! After so many years of waiting for Messiah, tonight He is born…here in Bethlehem. At last our faith has been made sight! I am going to go into the stable now to see this Messiah. But wait, what are you all still doing here?? Go! Go! Go tell everyone that Jesus is born—that Messiah is come—that the Light of the World, the Hope of Mankind is here! What are you waiting for? Go! Tell the good news!”
I thought to myself as I heard it what an incredible reminder that I am responsible to share the Gospel—the story of Christ’s birth, death, resurrection, ascension with all those I know. I am the one who is to let people know that the Babe of Bethlehem came on purpose and for a purpose.
It is precisely because of all of this and more that organizations like ours and many others keep trying to tell people that it is important that we do what we can to truly keep Christ in Christmas. This celebration isn’t about the winter time and the Winter Solstice—it’s about the creator of the Solstice. Our Creator God took on humanity and lived among us. That is the essence of Christmas.
We are not, as even some Christians allege, making mountains out of molehills when we point out retailers who refuse to use the word Christmas or call out school districts that veto Christmas carols in whole or in part or even do away with Christmas programs. If we don’t speak up for this truth, then who will? The answer is no one. And Christianity will continue to be kicked to curb in our society and become increasingly irrelevant. In truth, the war on Christmas is just one more manifestation of the war on Christianity. If you aren’t seeing that bigger war today, I would ask you to change your glasses or change where you get your news or your understanding of what is happening in our culture.
While the worldview and culture war truly rages on and we need to be involved as a matter of Christian civic stewardship, nothing can or should stop you and me from joyously celebrating and sharing this week by our lives and our words the incredible Truth that God, through the birth, death and resurrection of His only Son, Jesus Christ, has provided salvation for poor lost sinners like me—because He came on purpose and with a purpose.