Today is Christmas Day. All around the world people are visiting their family and enjoying spending the time with the ones they love. Children are excitedly opening presents, wondering what could be inside. Music is being played from the radio, CDs and digital devices. People are out feeding the homeless and providing cheer to the hopeless.
It is also the day Christians celebrate the second most holy day of the year: the birth of the incarnate Jesus Christ, when God came down to earth as a man to live with men so He may take away our sins and give us life eternal with God the Father by being crucified and rising from the dead three days later.
I do not make my faith hidden. I have stated many times I am a Christian and firmly believe in God. I may not mention my faith in every post but I do not shy away from making my faith known.
In Matthew 28:18-20, before ascending into Heaven, Jesus gave the following commandment called The Great Commission:
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (NKJV)
Each year I make a point to publish the Christmas story here on my blog. I know read my blog but I do not know the condition of their spiritual heart. I publish the story because I believe God can use anyone who is willing to reach the unsaved through any means, including the Christmas story.
Here now is the true meaning of Christmas, the purpose behind the celebration, and afterward I will make a few personal notes.
Luke 1:26-38 (NKJV)
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus . He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” And the angel answered and said to her, “ The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
Luke 2:1-20 (NKJV)
And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, 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, goodwill toward men!” So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
In this day and age it seems this message of Christmas, the true meaning of Christmas, is lost and forgotten more with each passing year. The “reason for the season” is pushed away and buried under agendas of kindness to all and co-existing with everyone, to live in peace with our neighbors. While that may be a novel ideal to strive for, it is not the reason we celebrate Christmas. If that was the sole purpose of Christmas, then why do we celebrate in December or make this our purpose only at this time of the year? It could be done at any time of the year, even multiple times a year. No, there has to be a more significant event behind the holiday. Indeed there is: the Messiah, Jesus Christ, left heaven and was born a man so we may have our sins forgiven and live with Him forever. That is what Christmas is all about.
It would not be proper for me to finish this post without posting this short clip from the A Charlie Brown Christmas cartoon special that is still aired on TV to this day. In it, Charlie Brown is discouraged and asks if anyone knows the true meaning of Christmas. Linus, as an orator, begins to speak and recite the passage from Luke 2 (I quoted it earlier). Upon finishing, Linus looks at Charlie Brown and says “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”
Today, let us remember the true reason we celebrate this holy day, and I pray God would raise up mighty men and women who would be like Linus and not be afraid to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.
Merry Christmas everybody. 🙂