For example, danger. Christ came to his own and his own received him not. So you. They plotted against him. So you. He had no permanent home. So you. They trumped up false charges against him. So you. They whipped and mocked him. So you. He died after three years of ministry. So you. "
Taken from John Piper's advent book, Good News of Great Joy
Christmas easily becomes sentimentalized, sanitized and spiritualized. But it's not about a clean stall, the good feelings, or peace to everyone. It's about a Savior who humbled Himself and came to earth. It's about the love of a Father willing to give His only Son as a sacrifice for sinners, about the Son appeasing the Father's wrath and justice by becoming the perfect atonement. Certainly there is joy and peace. But not apart from Christ. Not because this is a good holiday where people try to be happy.
No, happiness is not without CHRIST. And Christ is a model for Christians in the realm of missions. Our mission is to preach the gospel and share the good news of Jesus Christ our Lord. That doesn't always result in happy feelings and joyful responses from our unbelieving friends and family. No, a lot of times, it involves persecution. It involves taking up our cross and a willingness to follow Christ wherever He calls. It means doing things that aren't always fun and don't bring recognition. It requires death to ourselves. But this is our model. Missions is necessary, and Christmas is about missions.
It's about the mission of the Holy One, the perfect Lamb of God, sent to earth. It's about redemption and forgiveness and righteousness undeserved by us.
Ministry isn't always pretty. It wasn't pretty for Jesus. But that is what Christmas is about.
Will you be willing to follow in Jesus's footsteps?