And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. Luke 2:13-20 (ESV)
You ever notice that everyone wants the credit when something goes well and no one wants the blame when something doesn’t? This is true in every arena of life. Politicians take credit for anything good and blame the other guy when something doesn’t work. In the office, there’s always one guy who thinks he is the fount of all wisdom and every positive thing is a result of his ideas and effort. Any student who has ever worked on a group project knows this harsh truth. The guy that does the least often claims the most.
When it comes to the good news of Christmas, the Bible makes it very clear that all the credit goes to God. The ultimate Christmas gift was His idea. We didn’t earn it. We didn’t contribute to it. We don’t deserve it. Yet, God gave it. Thus, all the glory is His.
What this simply means is that God did not come for us because of our goodness. He did not come because of our merit. Rather, He came because of our need. He came because of His grace and love. He came for the sake of His glory and the sake of His name (Psalm 25:11).
It is in His goodness that we must rest. Any effort to trust our own goodness will ultimately end in heartache and disappointment. Our goodness simply isn’t good enough (Isaiah 64:6). Jesus’ goodness, however, is more than enough. He is completely sufficient to cleanse us and make us new. By Him, we can have a deep and meaningful relationship with God (John 10:10). In Him, we can have the power to live a godly life (Colossians 2:6-7). Through Him, we can do all things (Philippians 4:13).
So, this Christmas, stop thinking about all the things you think you deserve. Rather, stop and think about the one thing you don’t. Then, stop and think about what God did to make it available to you. He gave His perfect son Jesus. Through Him we have forgiveness and peace with God. Through Him we have hope and joy. Stop then and think…and give God the glory. After all, He deserves it.
Further Reading: Revelation 4-5