I just had someone at my front door wanting to explain to me why Christ died for us and why we have Christmas. They even had a video. It was a little surreal.
Apparently, Adam is a businessman who steals from his company leading workers to lose their jobs and electricity. Jesus is the good businessman who pays the bills and gets the lights turned back on — that’s why he died. That’s why we have Christmas.
Of course, she looked at me and said, “What do you think of that?”
One day I will learn to smile and nod but that day is not today. But I did filter. It was oh so obvious that this was a message meant to play on people’s fears of the economy and not being able to pay their bills. In my opinion, it rather missed the point but a lot of work had gone into it so I didn’t want to criticize the video itself. “It seems overly simplistic.”
“Then why do you think Christ died?”
After the businessman analogy, I knew I couldn’t give her the entire answer. Christ died to bring an end to the cycle of sin followed by the sacrifices needed to get back in God’s good graces. Christ died to bring us grace. Christ is the ultimate sacrifice.
I decided instead to focus on Christmas. It’s a prettier story. “The Christmas season is a time of waiting, of contemplation, of preparing yourself for the coming of Christ.”
“By reading scripture?”
“And prayer and worship and whatever it takes to get you as an individual ready. I need solitude and music.”
“That’s too confusing. What did you mean by the coming of Christ? The end times?”
“Eventually, but also the coming of the Christ child. You have to prepare yourself to accept him and his message and the acceptance and love he brought mankind.”
Prepare the way. That’s the whole message of the Advent season. Prepare your heart to accept his message of love and acceptance and mercy for all. His sacrifice washed away our sins and the condemnation that required blood sacrifice to cleanse our souls. Prepare yourself for Christ.
He has come not to condemn the world but so that the world through him might be saved.