Devotional

“ …And then, just when everything is bearing down on us to such an extent that we can scarcely withstand it, the Christmas message comes to tell us that all our ideas are wrong, and that what we take to be evil and dark is really good and light because it comes from God. Our eyes are at fault, that is all. God is in the manger, wealth in poverty, light in darkness, succor in abandonment. No evil can befall us; whatever men may do to us, they cannot but serve the God who is secretly revealed as love and rules the world and our lives.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

It is becoming easy for society to remember the presents and glitter while the true reason for Christmas has been steadily slipping away from the world’s focus. Yet, for 2,000 years, Jesus has not been forgotten. Nor has the story of His birth. If you asked the average person on the street why Jesus came to earth, you would get different answers. Some would say that it has something to do with peace and good-will on earth, to teach us to forget hostilities and to renew our hopes for mankind.

When was the last time you paused to consider why we celebrate Christmas, and why did Jesus come in the first place? We find the answer in the angel’s words in Matthew 1:21: “…you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”  The angel also told Joseph, “…they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.” (Matthew 1:23) 

I don’t think we need much to convince us that our world has real problems. We can look around every day and see that the world is broken, and no matter how hard we try we can’t seem to fix it. Closer to home our lives have problems as well.  We do things we know we shouldn’t. We feel guilty, broken, empty, like we’re always missing something — even at this time of year. Surrounded by bright lights and festive music we are hoping for something new and different. It is then we find the hope of Christmas and the reason God came to earth. That reason is echoed throughout the New Testament in different ways and with different words – but all with the same meaning and thought. Why did Jesus come? Jesus came to save sinners.

So this Christmas, remember why God came to earth. Luke 2:11 says, “The Savior–yes, the Messiah, the Lord–has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!”  Think about that for a few moments and take time to remember the reason for the season.

Discussion questions:

  1. What is your favorite part of the Christmas story and why? Do you ever feel like God came to earth to save you?
  2. Do you feel like your family captures the heart and the integrity of the Christmas season? If so, how have you done that successfully?
  3. What would you suggest are a couple of practical ways to help refocus on the true meaning of Christmas?