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On Christmas Morning

In the piles of wrapping paper, the pine needles, and the smell of my wife Hope's cinnamon rolls, my family will delight in a King so generous that He commands us to throw ourselves a party to celebrate His birth.

Christmas is the birth our King, but results in the elevation of mankind to royalty.

Earthly monarchs are installed in great coronation ceremonies. The feast of Christmas is a coronation for the rest of us.

The Christ humbled Himself, emptied Himself of His monarchial power, so that we could be elevated into the family of the Cosmic Emperor. No earthly title can match it.

You might think that if all Christians are now sons and daughters of Gods that the honors would be a bit diluted, but the Divine possessions are very vast. Every possible world is His and so we are heirs to a Kingdom where there is wealth enough for everyone to have what would make them happiest. In this life physical possessions carry the risk of idolatry, covetousness, and injustice.

In the life to come they will simply be gifts of the Christ to His brothers and sisters.

This is not the end of the good news. King Jesus is immortal so we shall never have the hard work of kingship, but will gain all the pleasure of the prerogatives of a prince or princess marked for power.

What did we do to deserve all this largesse? No more than Prince Charles did to become the Prince of Wales. We were simply born into the right family, even if we had to be born twice to get it right.

There are no commoners in God's Kingdom.

If you find this hard to believe, take the time to look up a movie that will make the point better than I can. Frank Capra, the director of the best Christmas film “It's A Wonderful Life,” made another fantastic holiday classic that is less well known: “Meet John Doe.” Like all Capra films the rich of this world are sent empty away and the uncommon virtues of the common man are celebrated. The central point of the film is that nobody needs to die for the sins of the world, great as they are, since that hard work was done by Someone else. Instead, we get to live to celebrate His work.

At the end of the film, when a very average man, the John Doe of the movie's title, confronts the budding dictator of America we see that there is no power in vice and no hope for the wicked.

They cannot win, because they lack any power in the world of ideas and the soul.
Some Christians feel guilty when they celebrate. There is something to worry about since a feast is no excuse for greed or conspicuous consumption for its own sake! Assuming we have ignored that happiness-destroying lie, however, we must not be tempted into the opposite error. It is a grievous breech of manners and howling ingratitude to refuse to celebrate the triumph of a friend.

The man too good to party will have a difficult time finding anything to do in heaven. If he waits to celebrate there, he may discover that his lack of practice here has made him bad company there.
 
We are unworthy. We should be content with some soup eaten in the servant's quarters. Given previous behavior, we would not deserve the slightest favor from King Jesus.

Jesus loved us anyway. He came down on Christmas and took on our pain. He proclaimed us his siblings and we accepted the adoption. The Father is a good parent and treats His adopted children as His own.

Blessed us!

Children often don't deserve their presents on Christmas Day. We don't get the coal we deserve in our stockings this morning, but Paradise. It is no wonder we can hardly wait for Christmas.
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