“If we could condense all the truths of Christmas into only three words, these would be the words: ‘God with us.’ We tend to focus our attention at Christmas on the infancy of Christ. The greater truth of the holiday is His deity. More astonishing than a baby in the manger is the truth that this promised baby is the omnipotent Creator of the heavens and the earth!” – John MacArthur.
It isn’t necessary to mention the commercialization of Christmas. We have seen it. We have experienced it. For some time now, the true reason for Christmas has been steadily slipping away from the world’s focus.
For 2,000 years, however, Jesus has not been forgotten. Nor has the story of His birth. But, why did He come? Why did the Son of God leave the splendor and beauty and glory and holiness and wonder and perfection of Heaven to come to the dirt and sin and trouble and sadness of earth?
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. Others would say that it has something to do with giving us an example on how to be better people. I’m sure there are any number of possible answers.
So why did the Son of God come to this world two thousand years ago? The answer is simple: Jesus came to earth for you and for me. Christmas should be very personal to each of us who are followers of God. Yes, it is Jesus’ birthday, but it is also the beginning of the gospel story. We are not just celebrating the fact that Christ came as a baby. We are celebrating that He came and brought redemption to our world. In other words, He came to redeem you and me and all who believe on His name.
Here is how Paul answered that question in I Timothy 1:15? “This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all.” Paul was musing over the grace of God shown to him. He could not get over it. We too should be amazed. We too should not be able to get over it. We too should be in awe of God with us. We should be in contact astonishment at God’s grace and mercy that began for each of us on that first Christmas night.
I want to challenge you to take the step to read the Christmas story, pray with your family and focus on Christ coming into the world for and to you. As you read, keep in mind that you are not just reading recitations of the familiar events of the first Christmas night. The passages are intended to understand what “God with us” and “unto you is born a Savior” really means.
- Do you feel like your family captures the heart and the integrity of the Christmas season? If so, how have you done that successfully?
- What would you suggest are a couple of practical ways to help refocus on the true meaning of Christmas?
- Pray for those in our communities that they will attend church on Christmas.