If I tell myself I’m wonderful, I’m deluded. If I tell myself I’m horrible, I’m at least half right.But if I tell myself I’m valuable, then I’m spot on, and attuned to one of the most important aspects of what we’re celebrating: the immeasurable worth God places on us, expressed that first Christmas.
Christmas is about Christ, of course, but it’s not about Christ in a vacuum, since He existed long before the nativity. (John 1:1-2) It’s about Christ in relationship to the people He came for, and their value in His sight. Angels said as much when they heralded the shepherds with “Peace on earth, good will towards men”, and He Himself reiterated and expounded on this when He taught:
“The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.” (Matthew 13:44)
A man who sold everything he had – clearly that’s not us, since whatever we may have had or sold could hardly have secured the Kingdom. He’s the purchaser; we’re the purchased, seen, desired and paid for by the One who thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but humbled Himself and took on the form of man. (Philippians 2:6)
Surely, then, it wasn’t just His death that was sacrificial. His birth was as well, an act of supreme condescension motivated by the love He described in what could rightly be a year-long Christmas greeting:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” (John 3:16)
The object of that sort of love, then, is valuable beyond description because of the assessment the purchaser placed on it, saying, in essence, This is worth everything.
Of course, an assessment like that needs to come from an authority for it to be of any value. If we said it of ourselves it would be meaningless. But another has said it of us, once and forever changing the game.
When I watch Antiques Roadshow I love trying to second guess the assessor who ultimately decides an item’s worth. I get it wrong at least half the time, but he, with knowledge and experience I lack, knows best.
Likewise, the Assessor had seen, valued and decided to purchase you who He deemed valuable, having knowledge and experience we clearly lack. And if that’s His assessment, who are we to argue when He says, “This is the treasure I’ll be born for, die for, and ever live to make intercession for.”
So Merry Christmas, you treasure, you. For you, light came into darkness (John 1:5) and no amount of economic hardship, cultural decay or personal struggle can ever diminish that.
He appeared. May your soul feel its worth.