The One Thing Youth Need to Understand About the Christmas Story
Posted by: DVULI | November 22, 2022
by Jordan Francis (Phoenix 2017)
I remember the first time I heard the carol Silent Night as a Christian. Even as I write this and think about the words, my emotions are stirred, and I am drawn to worship. That year, my eyes were open to see Christmas for what it was—the moment God entered human history. It’s essential for youth in this generation to grasp this concept as they navigate their faith journey in a world filled with loneliness, disconnection, and an acute awareness of suffering.
God becomes a man as Jesus Christ; this is a profound truth. The incarnation is more than just a nice story—it’s an essential part of the biblical story. He understands us, not just because He is God, but because He lived the human experience in the same broken world.
Jesus did not just come as a fully grown man. He came as a baby who had to be clothed, taken care of, and taught everything we had to learn. God made Himself vulnerable. He experienced all the natural problems—psychological and physiological that we do. Jesus mourned the loss of loved ones. He was rejected, abandoned, mocked, and killed.
He endured all of this without sinning. He walked perfectly and blamelessly, choosing to take on our unrighteousness and replacing it with His righteousness. This means we can approach Him confidently because He knows what it is like to be human.
Hebrews 4:14-16 (NIV) says it best:
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Youth want someone who will see all of who they are—the good, bad, and ugly—and love them anyway.
Jesus is their answer.
The problem of evil seems to be a particularly important question to young people in this generation, but looking back, humans have wrestled with that question ever since the Fall.
Social media has made youth keenly aware of the evil that resides in the world, but they also see their own capacity for it.
We see in the incarnation an answer to this evil that surrounds us and is in us. God steps into it to be present with us. Evil isn’t going away yet, but we don’t have to be alone in it. The kingdom of God can permeate evil with good.
Jesus answers our suffering with His presence. The good news is this is not the full answer. One day evil will be done away with, and long gone will be the stories of tragedy and pain.
This is why we celebrate Jesus at Christmas.
Light has come into the darkness, and that darkness has and will be overcome.
Reprinted with permission from Reframe.