One of my favorite Christmas songs is “Marry did you know” by Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene. Last Holliday season I made a playlist with all of the versions of this song I could find and played it, until my wife stopped me. (That happened faster than I could get through the list. Which was not surprising. That list was LONG.) I love the song, because it breaks out of our baby Jesus mentality and connects His birth to the rest (and purpose) of His life. (And, as a language lover, I get goosebumps every time I hear “the child, that you delivered, will soon deliver you.” This, ladies and gentlemen, is how you write incredible lyrics.) Another example is the song “what child is this” based on a poem by William Chatterton Dix. It is nice and Christmas-sy, all the way to the bridge. There, the gruesome and violent death of Christ is thrown at us, pointing out, that this is our reason to worship Him.
Now, we just passed Easter. And in a way, we repeat, what we do at Christmas. For obvious reasons, we concentrate on the event, we are celebrating. But while the Holliday season is all about the birth, Easter has different topics each day. On Good Friday we mourn the crucifixion and we look at the suffering servant. Saturday is filled with suspense. It is not Friday anymore, and not Sunday yet. And then, on Easter, we celebrate the risen King in all His Glory.
Even though, this is all well and good, I fear, we tend to separate Jesus into different personalities. We have Baby-Jesus for Christmas. We have Teenager-Jesus in the temple asking questions. We have Teacher-Jesus giving us the Beatitudes. We have Healer-Jesus curing the sick. We have All-Powerful-Jesus calming the storm and walking on water. We have Obedient-Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. We have Lamb-Of-God-Jesus dying on the cross. We have New-Jesus walking out of the grave. We have Lord-Jesus ascending to His Father. And we have King-Jesus sitting on the throne forever. (I surely forgot a few, like Judge-Jesus or Old-Testament-Jesus.) Yes, Jesus is to big a personality for us to truly comprehend. But shouldn’t we at least try? And even though, we might be constantly aware, that the baby in the manger is the man on the cross, most people around us (and in our churches) don’t. And we need to tell them. It is impossible, to understand Christmas without the Cross, but in the same way, it is impossible to understand the Cross without Christmas. Or any other event in the life of Jesus, for that matter. Jesus is a complete package, and we should stop, cutting Him into digestible chunks. We make each of them small enough for us. At Christmas even as small as a baby. That is a Jesus, we can put in a box (or manger). We can even look down to and pity him. But the baby in the manger is still the all powerful Redeemer of the universe. And we should treat Him as such. Even as a twelve year old Jesus asked those questions for our salvation. I don’t know how, and I haven’t listened to anybody preaching about that. But it still ties into the very same narrative. We just can’t cut it out to look at it separately. I want to know, how that fits in. For now, it remains a sermon, I still have to hear. Or give.