Christmas and the end of performance

kogs-xmas-productionLast Sunday was our children’s Christmas production.  No one comes to these things with high expectations, because we all know that kids don’t get things perfect.  And they certainly didn’t on that day. Some kids forgot their lines, some wandered off stage at the wrong time, and others gave up singing and started waving at the audience.  One kid even yelled out, “Hi mum” at the most inconvenient time.

But everyone loved it.  No one cared that is wasn’t perfect.  After all – it’s Christmas.

This got me thinking: isn’t this the whole point of Christmas?  Isn’t this why Jesus came?

Try as we may, none of us are perfect.  We just don’t measure up.  We don’t measure up to our bosses.  We don’t measure up to our spouses (or partners).  We don’t measure up to our parents and we don’t measure up to our children.  And most importantly, we don’t measure up to a holy, righteous and perfect God.

This is precisely why Jesus came into the world.  Jesus came to deal with our imperfection (which the bible calls “sin”).  Jesus was a perfect baby (yes, he cried, but not like normal babies), who lived a perfect life and then died in the place of very imperfect people.  When you trust in his cross-saving work his perfection becomes yours and your imperfection becomes his.  This is the great doctrine of substitution.  It’s the key to our salvation and puts an end to all our attempts at flawless performance.  As the bible puts it,

“For our sake he [God] made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

It’s a divine transaction, which is activated the moment you believe.  From that time on God views you differently.  He doesn’t see your sin.  He only sees His Son’s righteousness.

What does this mean in real life?  It means you can quit trying to please everyone and do everything perfectly.  You can relax.  As my teens say – “Take a chill pill.”

This Christmas, give your husband or your wife a break.  Parents – give your kids a break.  Bosses – give your employees a break.  We’re all flawed and make mistakes.  It’s OK if people forget their lines and wave at mum.

Don’t lose the plot.  This is precisely why Jesus came.

 

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