Well, Christmas is upon us again! December 25th seems to roll around earlier and earlier each year. Are you ready?
Among all the holiday festivities, Christians everywhere are gearing up to celebrate the birth of Jesus. And they should since He is the Reason for the Season! Yes, long before Santa Claus stole the show, Jesus’ birth was (and for many of us still is) the centerpiece of the day.
But what does the Bible say about celebrating Jesus’ birth? Would it surprise you to know we are not commanded to commemorate it?
Other than the recorded account of Mary’s pregnancy and His birth (Luke 1-2), it doesn’t say anything about an established celebration. Now, that’s in stark contrast to the Lord’s Supper, which commemorates Jesus’ death and was given to us by Jesus Himself as a command to do regularly (Matt. 26:17-30, Luke 22:7-23, Mark 14:12-26).
Therefore, I ask, should we celebrate Christmas?
Absolutely!!! In fact, we need to celebrate everything about Jesus every day! In a world that is growing increasing dark, we need to shine the light that has been strategically placed in our hearts on every occasion. And since Christmas, one of the largest holiday celebrations of the year, draws people from all walks of life to the Church, we need to maximize that opportunity to share the love of our Savior with the world.
The fact of the matter is there is no Christmas without Christ. To overlook the sacrifice He made to leave Heaven and dwell among us is unfathomable. Therefore, we must continue to tell His story from beginning to forever!
In that vein, I would just like to pull a few truths out of the nativity story that are tucked behind the scenes and yet are so critical in telling Jesus’ story.
First, we so easily forget that Jesus’ existence didn’t start here on earth at His physical birth, but that He was One with the Father prior to that fateful day and that Their existence has never been constrained to what we know as time.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:1, 14 KJV
Second, His entire purpose in being born was to die for our sins and restore our relationship with the Father. (John 3:16-17)
Matthew Henry once said: “Come, and see the victories of the cross. Christ’s wounds are thy healings, His agonies thy repose, His conflicts thy conquests, His groans thy songs, His pains thine ease, His shame thy glory, His death thy life, His sufferings thy salvation.”
And lastly, there is no purpose in Christmas without the victory of Calvary, which is celebrated at Easter.
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor. 15:55-57 ESV
I hope these truths speak to you and bring your Christmas celebration to an even deeper level. Oh, by all means, enjoy your family, the food, and the exchanging of gifts! But this Christmas, let His story draw you back in again and remind you of the true joy we celebrate. My Christmas wish for you is that your heart will overflow with the love of the Father and the sacrifice of the Son.
And don’t forget, tell His story!!!
Scripture References from:
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
King James Version (KJV). Pubic domain.
Today, I want to share 12 sets of scriptures that I reflect upon during Christmas. Some of them may be familiar verses heard at Christmas, and others are a deeper reflection of the promised Savior. Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!
In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. John 1:1-5
“For the time is coming,” says the Lord, “when I will raise up a righteous descendant from King David’s line. He will be a King who rules with wisdom. He will do what is just and right throughout the land. And this will be his name: ‘The Lord Is Our Righteousness.’ In that day Judah will be saved, and Israel will live in safety. Jeremiah 23:5-6
So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. John 1:14
“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” Matthew 1:23
Hard to believe another Thanksgiving has gone by, and the Christmas season is directly in front of us. I hope you had a wonderful day of family, food, and fun! Today, many of you are just coming back from some early (and I mean early!) Black Friday shopping, and others are getting ready to head out the door. I don’t really want to bring you down, but I do want to speak to your heart today!
We get so excited about Thanksgiving, and some of us are even more excited about Black Friday. While I definitely see the positive side of Black Friday (who doesn’t want to shop for 50-80% off!), I also see the other side of it –the side we tend to ignore, at least until the 6 o’clock news comes on, and we hear the stories of people literally being tramped over by the crowds rushing in the store to buy their child the latest and greatest toy. Ironic that we can be so thankful one day for all that we have, and then desperate the next day to buy, buy, buy.
Now, I realize that most folks are actually out there buying gifts for someone else, but the reality is they really love the hunt for bargains, to be able to say I got “this” for “this price.” But the gifts we give at Christmas should be reflective of the person who we are celebrating, shouldn’t it?