I found a wonderful story that illustrates the essence of Christmas. This story was told by a Christian Man from India by the name of Saddhu Sundar Singh: A king had a minister in his government who had become a Christian. The minister was a very well educated and capable man. When he became a Christian he testified to his new faith in front of all the people of that country. He told them that he now believed in the Saviour, who had come into this world, in order to rescue the world from Sin and Death. The King couldn’t make sense of that. He said to the minister: “If I, the king, want something, I just tell my servants to get it for me, and they do. That’s enough. Why should the King of Kings himself come into this world? He could have just said what he wanted us to hear.”
Because of the religious traditions of that country the King felt that he should dismiss this minister from his office because of his Christian faith. But on the other hand the King liked him very much and appreciated the work he did. So he came up with this solution. He said to the Minister: “If you can come up with a convincing answer to my question, why the King of Kings had to come into the world, I will pardon you and keep you in your job.” “Grant me 24 hours time, your majesty, and I will give you the answer” – the minister said. The King agreed to that.
The minister then went to a skilled artist who could carve in wood and asked him to create a puppet about the size of the King’s two year old child and to clothe the puppet exactly how the King’s child would be clothed. The next day the King made a ride on his boat on the river. The minister had asked the artist to be on the shore of the river with the puppet and to throw the puppet into the water when he got the sign that they had agreed upon. So when they were passing the place where the man with the puppet was waiting, the minister gave the sign – and the man threw the puppet into the water. When the king saw the puppet fall into the water, he thought that this was his child. He immediately jumped from the boat into the water and swam towards the puppet to rescue what he thought was his child. He was quite relieved but also quite angry when he saw that it was just a puppet.
The minister asked the King afterwards: “Tell me, my King, why did you want to rescue your child yourself? A word to one of your servants would have been enough, I thought?” The king answered: “It was the heart of the father that had to act this way.” Then the minister said: “You see, that’s why God wasn’t content with just sending a message of salvation to the world. His infinite love made him come down from heaven himself in order to rescue his beloved children.”
1 John 4, 9: “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (Source: Axel Kuehner, Hoffen wir das Beste )