Is it possible we romanticize the birth of Jesus? We make it seem so wonderful and quaint. In Ricky Bobby's words, He is "eight pound, six ounce, newborn baby Jesus, in your golden fleece diapers...". We even sing a hymn that claims: "no crying he makes".
But Jesus becoming man ruined things. It ruined Mary and Joseph; ruined their engagement plans. The pregnancy ruined their reputation. His birth ruined the shepherd's quiet night, the wise men's travel schedule and King Herod's day.
Jesus still ruins things. In this festive time, let's remind our teenagers that the birth of Jesus ruins the way both the irreligious and the religious approach life and/or God apart from Him.
1) Hedonism: Pursuit of pleasure as the highest good.
Jesus ruins this by being born in the most humble means and dying in the most humiliating fashion. We can't look at his life and believe that salvation and meaning in life lies in pursuing comfort or pleasure.
2) Naturalism: Nothing exists beyond what you can see and touch.
Jesus ruins this by his very arrival - God WITH us! The supernatural breaks in on the natural.
3) Mysticism: Special secretive knowledge of spiritual things and God.
Jesus ruins this by coming as a real live flesh and blood person. God is not a subjective feeling, not a mysterious force. Jesus came to reveal God and to be known by all, not just the "super spiritual".
4) Legalism: Follow the rules to know God.
Jesus ruins this because His coming and His mission was not to show us how to fulfill the law (keep the rules) but to fulfill them in our place! We're WAY too lost to save ourselves by following rules.
Jesus ruined everything.
Let's rejoice during this Christmas season that He did.