Lights, music, carols, candy canes, presents, fun: Christmas is “the most wonderful time of the year!” It is a time for celebrating, enjoying family and friends, and making memories, but it is truly about Jesus Christ. The true meaning of Christmas is the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus!
Can you imagine, thousands of years ago, Mary and Joseph trying to find a place to sleep in Bethlehem, where the baby would be born? No room for a King? It probably was freezing and there were no doctors available … Mary really must have been trusting God.
Finally, someone opens a manger (animal inn) for them to stay. It is amazing how God’s Kingdom is the opposite of the world’s. In our human minds, we expect the Lord to be born in a palace, right? That is what the people of the day believed: that Jesus Christ, the Messiah, would be born someplace fancy.
But no, He came humbly–He wanted to set the example of how to live. The scripture says that Christ came as a servant; he demonstrated his love for us and died for our sins.
Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).
For there is born to you this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign to you: You will find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ 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, good will toward men!’ (Luke 2:11-14).
What is amazing about scripture is that the Old Testament was written hundreds of years prior to the New Testament. There even was a period of silence from God between the Old and New Testaments. The prophesies in the scriptures were fulfilled by Jesus. Isaiah (the Old Testament) even prophesied what would happen when Jesus came:
The Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will concieve a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means, ‘God is with us’) (Isaiah 7:14).
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgement and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this (Isaiah 9: 6-7).
Even when we are shopping and wrapped up in the crazyness of the holidays, let us stop and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. Let us thank God for our salvation and grace, for the mercy and love he has given to us. Open your ears a little more this holiday season and notice: This is the one time of year when worship music is played everywhere. Sometimes we don’t even realize what we are singing.
Oh come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant … O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem…
Immanuel, God with us, the Son of Israel…
Silent night, Holy Night, all is calm, all is bright, round yon virgin, mother and child, Holy infant so tender and mild, sleep in heavenly peace … sleep in heavenly peace…
The beautiful Christmas music is one of my favorite parts of the holidays–not only because it reminds me of my childhood, but also because it reminds me of the real meaning of Christmas. It brings me back to that place of worship. Christmas is by far my favorite time of year and my most favorite holiday celebration … Jesus’ birthday!
What is your favorite part of the holiday season?