Paul David Tripp: Under Christmas Attack

You and your family are under attack. You probably won’t feel the siege—it’s subtle, seductive and attractive—and that’s why this attack is infinitely more dangerous.

What in the world am I talking about?

Look at the calendar. The Advent season commences in just a few days. It should be a glorious time of remembering God’s response to his lost and rebellious image-bearers. That response wasn’t to condemn but to give the ultimate gift of grace: the gift of himself.

But instead of a peaceful season of worship and celebration, Advent has devolved into a spiritual war.

A False Christmas Story

The “Christmas Story” which the surrounding culture celebrates puts us at the center, the place for God and God alone. It looks to creation for fulfillment rather than worship of the Creator. It makes physical pleasure our primary need rather than the rescuing intervention of the Redeemer. It’s dominated by the comforts of the moment rather than eternal priorities.

In every way, the story you will hear over and over again during this season is dangerously wrong when it comes to who we are and what we need. It encourages us to find comfort where comfort can’t be found and to place our hope in things that will never deliver.

To be clear, I have no problem with beautiful decorations, family feasting or giving gifts. The Christmas season can be a time when families gather again, renew relationships and express love for one another.

But I’m concerned that we’re listening to a false Christmas story instead of remembering the true Advent narrative—a story that defines our beliefs about who we are, what we need and what our lives are about.

The True Advent Narrative

Unlike that false Christmas story, the true Advent narrative is humbling and unattractive. It’s a sad story about a world terribly broken by sin, populated by self-centered rebels who are willing participants in their own destruction. It’s about beings created to live for God who in every way live for themselves.

This story is about the dethroning of the Creator and the enthroning of his creation. It’s about conditions so desperate that God did the unthinkable, sending his Son to be the sacrificial Lamb of redemption. And why did Jesus come? Because we were so lost, so enslaved and so self-deceived that there was simply no other way.

Until we hear and understand the bad news, the good news won’t be attractive to us. The news that Jesus came on a glorious mission of grace to live, die and rise in our place is only worth celebrating when you understand it’s our only hope.

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Source: Church Leaders