"Happily ever after"
December 26, 2012
For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21
A true story: The good-looking man in China met and married a good-looking woman.
The good-looking couple had a baby girl, who was not so good-looking. The good-looking man's name is Jian Feng, and the child he said was plain, remains unnamed. We do know he insisted on a DNA test, a test which showed he was the father.
So was he content? Did the family live happily ever after?
No, they didn't.
Good-looking Mr. Feng took his good-looking wife to court and sued her because he said she was totally responsible for their not-so-beautiful daughter. The good-looking wife admitted to having had extensive plastic surgery in South Korea, before they were married. Mr. Feng said, "Ah-ha! You married me under false pretenses. I've been tricked. I want a divorce and some cash to pay for this ugly deception."
Amazingly, the Chinese judge agreed. He ruled the good-looking ex-wife had to pay her good-looking ex-husband $120,000 because she had given him a not-so-good-looking child.
This takes us to the question: what does that have to do with Christmas and the Savior?
Please, be patient as I tell another story; this one also true. Once upon a time a holy and perfect God created a holy and perfect world. When He was done with His work, He said it was "very good." And it was. But that perfection was destroyed when His children did a very ugly, a very disobedient thing: they broke the one commandment their Maker had asked them to keep.
All that God had made perfect and holy was now blighted by sin and no longer beautiful. The children, which had once been a most special part of His creation, had disobeyed and disowned Him, had turned their backs on Him.
Now this is the part where the stories diverge.
But rather than looking at us and avoiding having any contact with his no-longer-beautiful children, God searched us out. In our self-made ugliness He searched us out and said, "You've made a mess of things, but I love you. I would rather save you than condemn you. To make that happen, I'm going to take My still-perfect, still-holy Son and send Him to earth to take your place. He will love the unlovable, touch the untouchable, seek out the sick, and save the sinner."
He will live for you, and suffer for you, and carry your sins.
And He will die for you.
And so it was. His Son came and His followers celebrated His birthday. And now, after that celebration, we need to remember He is still with us; He is still with His sinful brothers and sisters.
Because Jesus has come and given Himself, so we might be forgiven and live happily ever after.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, for loving me in spite of my sin, for sending Your Son to save me when I didn't deserve it, I shall always be grateful. Help me show my gladness for that grace, not just on Christmas but in all the days thereafter. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries