Christmas is usually either welcomed by overwhelming excitement or dreaded and often drudged through with gritted teeth. Though it's expected to be a season of gratitude and love for family, it's often the time of year that families experience the most disconnect and division.
People seem to have lost all recollection of the real meaning of this time of year. Today's society has made it all about the consumer and who can buy the best gift. Though I like to receive/give a good gift as much as the next person, this year I've really tried to readjust my focus.
Christmas is and was meant to be a celebration of the birth of our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. But to truly celebrate His coming, I think we must understand the depth of "why" He came in the first place.
John 3:16 is the most quoted verse in the Bible (you probably said it to yourself before even reading it here) "For God so loved the earth that He sent His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."
What does that even mean? If we truly understood that what would our lives today actually look like?
Luke 2 is often the chapter that people read for Christmas when sharing with people about the birth of Christ. However; I personally prefer Matthew's testament (I don't necessarily have a reason, it's just preference).
Matthew 1:21 says, " And she will bring forth a son and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."
I love the Greek translation of the word save used here. To rescue from danger or destruction, to save a suffering one (perishing), to make well or even heal. Think about that with John 3:16. God so loved us that He sent His son, so we are no longer in danger, on the verge of destruction (often self imposed), so we don't have to suffer and can be healed. You see, the birth of Christ was a promise of all of these things and only takes a confession of your faith in Him to receive them.
Romans 10:9 says, " that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, YOU WILL BE SAVED."
It didn't say you might be saved, it said you WILL be. Again this is a promise granted to us by God in sending His Son.
We are all sinners in need of a savior (1 Tim 1:15). We can't make it on good works and fulfillment of the law alone. This is why Christ left His throne of honor to come here as a servant giving the ultimate sacrifice for our salvation (Phil 2:7).
As you think about Christmas this year, I pray that you remember this. I pray that His birth and death will not be in vain and that you realize you are free of sin and can have eternal life with our Father in heaven.
Hebrews 9:26 says,"..... But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself."
Now to be clear I'm not despising gift giving and celebrating with family. On the contrary I think all of those things are of God too. God wants us to live in unity and harmony with one another (1 Cor 1:10, Col 3:14). He even wants you to live abundant lives.
"....I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10)."
He just doesn't want that to be the main focus. He is the reason for this season and He should remain the center of it.