Christianity 201

December 9, 2010

Christmas Card Theology

Filed under: Uncategorized — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:06 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

If it is true that the DNA of the gospel is found even in the books of the Old Testament, there ought to be no end to the number of verses that can be used on Christmas cards to announce the incarnation; to proclaim that God has come to dwell with man.

I was truly struck by this many years ago when Tom, a graphic artist I got to know briefly, decided to screen print his own Christmas cards.   The passage he chose was the beginning of Hebrews 1, though some (like me) maintain that the reason we can’t 100% verify the authorship of Hebrews is because we’ve got a letter where the first page is missing.   So chapter 1 may not be its first words.   Nonetheless…

1God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

2Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds…

Okay, I know I just lost a few people, but I like the unique KJV wording.   Where else do you find “sundry times” and “divers manners” which is exactly the text Tom chose for his Christmas cards.

Here’s the (new) NIV with an extra verse:

1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

And of course, The Message:

1-3Going through a long line of prophets, God has been addressing our ancestors in different ways for centuries. Recently he spoke to us directly through his Son. By his Son, God created the world in the beginning, and it will all belong to the Son at the end. This Son perfectly mirrors God, and is stamped with God’s nature. He holds everything together by what he says—powerful words! After he finished the sacrifice for sins, the Son took his honored place high in the heavens right alongside God…

I like The Message’s in-context use of the word “recently.”   “This just in!”  It’s a new day.  A new opportunity.   A new beginning.

Are there verses that lie outside the typical (i.e. Luke 2) Christmas narrative that hit home for you as they contain the message of Christmas?