2 Corinthians 8:9, “Though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich”
In the vivid imagination of many young children, high above the decorations and colorful holiday lights, a jolly man in a red suit is pulled through the sky by a team of flying reindeer. Youngsters go to bed in restless anticipation and excitement of the next morning, because it’s Christmas Eve! Yet, today my thoughts wander across time and space to yet a very different setting. The animals are also restless. A mule brays and a cow bumps the stable door. An anxious husband stops pacing the makeshift delivery room floor to console his wife.
Suddenly a newborn baby sputters with His first breath, and with a spirited cry He announces His own arrival. The long-awaited Son has come! The night of Jesus’ birth was exciting for Mary and Joseph. There before their eyes was the miracle baby whose coming into the world had been announced by angels. The shepherds too saw and heard a “multitude of the heavenly host” praising God and heralding His birth (Luke 2:13). How thrilling that must have been! Harry Reasoner, one of the most respected television journalists of our time gave a Christmas commentary in 1971 that bears repeating today. Here, in part, is what he said …
“Christmas is such a unique idea that most non-Christians accept it, and I think sometimes envy it. If Christmas is the anniversary of the appearance of the Lord of the Universe in the form of a helpless baby, it’s quite a day. It’s a startling idea, and the theologians, who sometimes love logic more than they love God, find it uncomfortable … it is either all falsehood or it is the truest thing in the world. It is the story of the great innocence of God, the baby, God in the power of man. And it is such a dramatic shot toward the heart that if it is not true, for Christians nothing is true. So even if you have not got your shopping all done and you are swamped with the commercialism and the frenzy, be at peace … the story stands.”
Think about it … when Jesus was born, shepherds came to honor Him and later wisemen brought Him gifts (Matthew 2:8-12). These people had no idea what Christ would eventually accomplish, but they were right in doing what they did, because Jesus’ birth was the most remarkable event in all-human history. Jesus as a baby was remarkable because He was God in human form. He was the Creator of the universe visiting this planet. Never shrink from celebrating this baby at Christmas. Marvel at His incarnation, and stand in awe of a tiny wiggly baby who had created His worshipers. Then step back in wonder, for the story gets even better, because this divine baby grew into a perfect man who willingly died for our sins. Just think … God came down from heaven’s glory to this miserable earth as a baby so He could become our Savior.
So, in all the excitement of this Christmas holiday, let’s draw our attention to the Savior and not to the commercialism. Like John the Baptist, let’s point others to the One who came into the world but was not recognized by it (John 1:6-10). May the greetings we speak, the cards we send, the presents we give be motivated by our love for Jesus Christ. After all, He is the real reason for the season, so let’s focus on that message this Christmas day and each one thereafter. Celebrate the baby, but trust the Savior … that’s how to keep Christ in Christmas, and make it complete.
The goodness and love of God became incarnate at Bethlehem.