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The Eleventh Day of Advent – December 13

For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

Have you noticed it? Have you seen the spreading secularization of Christmas? Making merchandise of Jesus’ birth? Substituting another holiday for His holy day? As long ago as Advent 1952, C. S. Lewis expressed upset to a friend in a letter: “How wretchedly the Christian festival of Christmas has got snowed under by all the fuss and racket of commercialized Xmas.” Lewis’ Christmas wish was otherwise: “Oh if we could have Christmas without Xmas.” (The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Vol. II, edited by Walter Hooper)

In yet another Christmas time letter, Lewis related a troubling experience: “My brother heard a woman on a bus say, as they passed a church with a crib outside it, ‘O Lord’! They bring religion into everything. Look – they’re dragging it even into Christmas now!” (Letters to an American Lady, edited by Clyde Kilby) What Lewis saw the culture doing to Christmas grieved him. He thought God becoming flesh the central event in the history of the world – something worth celebrating!

But who is this Jesus to you? Who is “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God”? In what category of humanity do you place Him? Is He a great moral teacher? A liar? Maybe even a lunatic, to say the things He said? The Chinese Christian leader, Watchman Nee (1903-1972), dealt with such important questions about Jesus in a way that C. S. Lewis would do years later. Nee answered the question as to Jesus being a lunatic, liar, or Mighty God, like this:

“It is not a light thing to claim to be God. A person who makes such claims falls into one of three categories…he cannot belong to all three. First, if he claims to be God and yet in fact is not, he has to be a madman or a lunatic. Second, if he is neither God or a lunatic, he has to be a liar, deceiving others by his lie. Third, if he is neither of these, he must be God.”

(Watchman Nee, Normal Christian Faith)

Watchman Nee thought his way forward to the same critical conclusion that C. S. Lewis did later: “You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.” (C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)

To see the power of Jesus as “Mighty God” you simply need to read the Gospel stories. God’s messenger angel Gabriel announced to Mary: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God” (Luke 1:35). By the power of the Holy Spirit, God united deity and humanity in one Person, so that through one Person God unites humanity to Himself.

In Jesus Christ “Mighty God” takes on our enemies of sin and death, and vanquishes them. The apostle Paul celebrates this triumph of “Mighty God” FOR us: “And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him [Christ], when he forgave us all our trespasses” (Colossians 2:13). Christ reigns today as “Mighty God”, as “God has put all things under his [Christ] feet and made him the head over all things FOR the church” (Ephesians 1:22).

In all of the gift giving of this Christmas season, here is the cause for our greatest joy and celebration: “For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). C. S. Lewis was spot on in saying: “Once in our world, a stable had something in it that was bigger than the whole world.” (C. S. Lewis, The Last Battle)

No merchandising or secularizing here, just the Light!


Generous Father, we join our voices with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven who proclaim the glory of Your name. Heaven and earth are filled with Your glory. Open our eyes to the wonder of living, to the mystery of Your creation, and the preciousness of every day. We are fright- ened by a nation so bitterly divided: the rage, deception, and bitter politics alarm us. The culture’s design to keep You out of Christmas disheartens us. Make us messengers of Good News and instruments of Your peace in the world. We ask for the sake of Your Son who so loved the world. Amen.

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