By Dr. David L. Robbins

All over the world people are preparing for the celebration of Christmas. "It's the most wonderful time of the year!" Christians delight in the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, in Bethlehem. The Apostle Paul summarized the advent most powerfully in 2 Corinthians 8:9 "You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that by His poverty He could make you rich."

Jesus embodied poverty. He was introduced by the poignant prophet, John the Baptist. This powerful preacher was the bearded, camel skinned voice calling everyone to repent and to be baptized as an act of repentance. The religious elite of that day could not grasp the simple act of humbling that John called them to. They were too proud. They should have welcomed John gladly, turned from their wickedness and prepared to follow Jesus immediately. Jesus refused to become one of them. Rather Jesus exposed their horrid pretense and re-emphasized their need for cleansing from phoney religious outward show.

Christmas is about the call of Christ to each of us to become poor. To begin with we need to welcome the posture of Jesus as our own. Secondly, a break with the false gods of our age is required. Moses was the instrument of the decisive battle in his day with the ten prominent gods of Egypt. The ten plagues were unleashed by our God to bring repentance and faith to the Egyptians. These Egyptians, beginning with the powerful Pharaoh, refused to submit to the One True God of creation and redemption. How utterly foolish! The entire army of Egypt was drowned the bottom of the sea.

During our lifetime we have seen Canada become more and more mesmerized by the false gods of our multicultural nation. Even the immigrants from many countries are shaken by the hopelessness of secularism. Atheism and agnosticism provide absolute despair without any hope. Canada needs Christmas! The Christ who lives within us is the precise need of our land.

Finally, the poverty of Christ to be displayed is the life of Christ in each of our lives. "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ" (Ephesians 5:21). Give up our privileges just like Jesus gave up His rights. Accept the honour of serving as a slave (See Philippians 2:3 8).

Every born again Christian is called to concur with the Apostle Paul. "We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus' sake" (2 Corinthians 4:5).

posted on November 28, 2018
Advancing Indigenous Missions 2018