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A Christmas story quiz

If you had to take a quiz on the Christmas story, how high would you score? You might be surprised. Much of the story we retell about Jesus' birth is interlaced with more tradition than fact. For example, the Bible does not mention any animals at the stable; in fact there is no mention of a stable. Nothing is said of Mary riding a donkey to Bethlehem, nor is there any reference to an innkeeper or drummer boy.

As challenged as one might be regarding the "what" of Christmas, we can be even more puzzled over the "why." Why was Jesus born? The answer is found knowing two things: Mankind sins and God loves.

Because all mankind is guilty of sin, we deserve punishment for our willful acts against God. The punishment for our sin is death. But as John 3:16 tells us, God's love for us prompted Him to provide a way of overcoming the penalty for our actions. Instead of destroying us, He chose to allow mankind to destroy Him. By His death our penalty would be met.

God came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ and was born through Mary, His mother. Christmas marks the beginning of Jesus' life and God's great plan to rescue us through Him. In the end, mankind killed Jesus by crucifixion. An innocent man was condemned so that we who were condemned could become innocent.

Knowing the "what" of Christmas is good, but knowing the "why" is priceless!

Pastor Mark Holmes is an ordained minister in the Wesleyan Church and has served the Darrow Road Wesleyan Church since 1997.