Luke 1:35, “That Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God”
Isaiah 7:14, “The virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel”
Matthew 1:21, “You shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins”
In the vivid imagination of many young children, high above the decorations and colorful holiday lights, a jolly man in a bright 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! Would you agree that it is very easy to be swept along by the flood of party-going, gift-shopping and family gatherings? Our motive may be commendable because we want to show our love for our family and friends.
On this first day of December; however, my thoughts wander across time and space to yet a very different setting in ages gone by. The animals are also restless as a mule brays and a cow bumps the stable door. An anxious husband stops pacing the makeshift delivery room floor to console his wife. The couple is Mary and Joseph and the one to be born on that night is the baby Jesus.
Venture with me in time! It’s the early 19th Century; a war-weary world was anxiously watching the march of Napoleon. All the while, babies were being born. In the 1809, midway between the battles of Trafalgar and Waterloo, Alfred, Lord Tennyson in Somersby, England; Oliver Wendell Holmes in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Felix Mendelssohn in Hamburg, Germany; and Abraham Lincoln in Hodgenville, Kentucky. People’s minds were occupied with battles, not babies. Yet nearly 200 years later, is there the slightest doubt about which made the greater contribution to history, those battles or those babies?
So it was with the birth of Jesus. The Bethlehem crowds had no inkling that the Son of God was asleep in their little town. Only a few shepherds came to see Him, and they left glorifying God. We need to recapture some of the wonder of that infant child coming into the world! My beloved, He came into this war-torn world of selfishness and sin for one purpose – to die as a sacrifice for our sins. The forgiveness He offers will satisfy the deepest need or our hearts. Jesus Christ is a gift for all ages. The question remains – have you by faith received that gift?
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 the Creator of the universe.
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. As you open your gifts Christmas day ponder the lesson of the wrapping paper. As you think of how it is torn to reveal a gift, let it remind you of the Savior’s sacrifice on the cross so that you can receive eternal life, the priceless gift of God.
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. As you move into this holiday season, in all of your good times with family and friends, make sure you don’t leave out the Lord Jesus. Give Him the honor He deserves.
Among the tinsel, trees, and toys
Are many signs of Christmas joys,
But where’s the Christ, whom God sent down,
Who laid aside His throne and crown? – Hess
Jesus was born so that we might be born again.