Southminster Presbyterian Church

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Why God Became Human: A Christmas Eve Meditation

Ken Onstot

Scripture: Philippians 2:1-11

The original sin was the desire to be God.

Why do you think Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit?

The apples weren’t good enough at Costco?

The serpent told them they would be like God, knowing good and evil.

But Adam and Eve already knew what was good and evil.

They already knew what was right and wrong.

God had told them not to eat the forbidden fruit.

But they did it anyway.

They did not want only to know good and evil.

They wanted to decide for themselves what was good and evil.

Adam and Eve wanted to be their own gods.

It’s a story repeated throughout history.

Why do you think people worship idols?

Why do you think people worship gods of wood and stone?

Because statues of wood and stone don’t talk back to you.

An idol cannot tell you what to do.

Which is nice when you want to be your own god.

But here is the problem:

When we try to become God, we become less than human.

Remember what happened to Adam and Eve?

They tried to become like God, and ended up ashamed of being human.

They were embarrassed and hid from God.

When leaders try to become dictators,

are they more human or less human?

When bosses exploit people or try to make them do something wrong,

Are they more human or less human?

When family members try to control each other with threats or violence,

Are they more human or less human?

When you try to become God,

when you try to control everyone and everything,

you become less than human.

But Christmas is the opposite of that.

At Christmas we meet not a human being who tries to be God,

but a God who becomes human.

The Bible says, “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,

who, though he was in the form of God,

did nor regard equality with God as something to be exploited,

but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave,

being born in human likeness.”

Christmas is not about us becoming like God,

it’s about God helping us to be human.

It’s about God helping us to be like Jesus,

God helping us to be loving, giving, sacrificing, and serving.

Jesus gave his life on the cross to save us.

That’s how much Jesus loves us.

Now he wants us to love one another.

Jesus not only helps us know God,

he helps us understand what it means to be human.

People are the most human, not when trying to be God,

but when worshiping God.

People are the most human, not when dominating others,

but when serving them.

People are the most human, not when defeating others,

but when helping them.

People are the most human, not when they are trying to be perfect,

but when trying to be forgiving,

the way Jesus has forgiven us.

Personally, I am glad I am not God.

It is hard enough to be a pastor.

But in Jesus we have a God who knows what it is like to be human.

And by accepting him as Lord,

we also can be more human.

"Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care."

Psalm 95:6-7