Op-Ed: God’s greatest gift is a perfectly packaged story

by Jacob Fuller

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News


What better day than Christmas than to remind Christians that they should list Christ’s death and resurrection as the greatest gift they’ve ever received?

Many thousands of Christian journalists have penned articles and commentaries to that effect dating to the advent of the printing press and, after hundreds upon hundreds of years, no one has ever quite found a novel way of explaining the importance of Jesus in what has become a worldwide celebration.

And this writer will not offer you anything you haven’t heard a million times before.

Like so many others, I can only reiterate a message that has been unchanged for 2,000 years. Jesus came to this earth, lived for God, died for man, and was risen.

As a journalist, one is taught to find new angles on well-tread stories and to formulate new ways to explain well-known facts. To do otherwise is to be guilty of cliché, a surefire way of boring or otherwise annoying your readers.

But the story of Christ is not one that puny, imperfect man can improve upon.

Adding to, taking away from, or foisting modern sensibilities upon the Gospel is blasphemous. Trying to cutify the story of an infant born to eventually suffer the punishment for all of our sins is at best hoky and at worst disrespectful to the highest order.

This gives the person tasked with the Christmas Day op-ed for a Christian news site quite the challenge. One can either opt to jettison millennia’s worth of truth or plunge backward into restating the well-known.

For this writer, it will have to be cliché, and for once, that is a good thing.

Under almost all circumstances, the idea of using the overly familiar is journalistic and writing malfeasance. But truth is encoded into every axiom, even those that have become so familiar that they are easily relegated to background noise.

One might grow tired of hearing that the scenes at the Grand Canyon are awe-inspiring and breathtaking, but that doesn’t remove one iota of the wondrous beauty found there.

This is doubly true of Christ. You can get tired of being reminded that He is the “reason for the season,” but that doesn’t move him a micrometer away from front and center on this Holy Day.

You can try to improve upon, reimagine, or modernize the story, but you can’t faithfully or more skillfully tell it than it’s been told a million times before.

The story of God’s greatest gift, it turns out, has come in the form of the perfect literary package.

In retelling the birth of Christ, the well-worn path of the Gospel is the only way, and that should give us hope. God so perfectly planned his salvation for man, that not even the greatest men of letters can improve upon its telling.

So,  as you enter churches, visit Christian websites, or encounter other believers, do not wince at the repetition. Celebrate the fact that the message is and forever will be unchanging.

No amount of noise from the modern world, interference from Satan, and imagination of evil or ambitious men can change one serif on one letter of that story.

Emmanuel came. God was among us. He lived, He died, He rose again, and He will return to rule this world and forever liberate us of our fallen natures.

Yes, Jesus is the reason we should celebrate, and there is no way for this writer to share that truth in a manner that will seem new or unique.

If the news of the forgiveness of your sins isn’t enough to excite you, no amount of pretty words will suffice.

The message, then, becomes “Keep Christ in Christmas.” Let it be said a billion times more and as loudly as our voices can carry it, cliché or not.

Let no believer fail to appreciate it. Let us never forget.

Let no unsaved person’s head hit the pillow on Dec. 25 without being told or reminded that eternal life and infinite joy are theirs for the taking if only they accept God’s gift. For them, there is nothing cliché about being saved from an eternity of torment.

Ultimately, let us rejoice as generations of Christians have rejoiced before us that God so loved the world — so loved me and you, yes you and yes me — that he sent his own precious Son to be our Redeemer.

Rejoice! Christ, our Savior, is born!