December 01, 2007

The Scandals of Christmas

1 Corinthians 1:18-31

The foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom ...
1 Corinthians 1:25


Ours is a scandal-weary world. Open the papers, and what do you find? Scandal in the high circles of government. Scandal among top leaders of the church. There is so much scandal that talk-show hosts have a neverending supply of hot topics.

But the Advent season is upon us. How nice that we can leave scandal behind! At least we know Christmas is scandal-free, right? Here's a story so charming that it offers an escape from the raw realities of our world.

But let's look again. If we scrape away layers of tradition and cut through the romantic haze, we'll discover events that are colored with shame and dishonor.

Welcome to a scandalous Christmas! Welcome to a story so shocking that if tabloids were published 2,000 years ago, these events would have made front-page head­lines for weeks.

But let's not take offense at that. God works grace in unexpected ways. The apostle Paul tells us that the gospel always looks foolish when judged by worldly standards of wisdom. Yet this "divine foolishness" is true wisdom, and it accomplishes amazing things. By the scandals of Christmas, God will redeem the world!

So let's come to the Christmas story as if we're hearing it for the first time. Let's sniff out the scandals and make new discoveries about God's amazing grace.

Lord, the foolishness of Christmas is your gift to people like us, whose lives are riddled with scandals of sin and rebellion. Give us ears that hear fresh truths in old stories. Amen.

About the author — Bob Heerspink

Dr. Robert Heerspink was director of Back to God Ministries International from 2006 until 2011, when he passed away. He had previously pastored several Christian Reformed churches. Bob loved to write and was a frequent contributor to the Today devotional.

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