I confess that I have wrongly come to treasure Easter more than Christmas. The commercialization of the day that used to be exclusively for celebrating the birth of our Savior has robbed some of the fascination from this season. From late October we’re inundated with sales flyers full of fantastic buys on things we still cannot afford and rarely ever need. Songs about Santa Claus and snowmen dominate the airwaves in anticipation of a day that used to be a celebration of the love of God. Sadly, it has devolved into a stressful, frenzied time that focuses on giving to others, but perhaps more so on what we will receive.
But Christmas should be a time of immense joys for followers of Jesus. Yes, Easter is incredibly important as it proves the deity of our Savior as well as celebrates His return to the Father. Obviously, there would be no Easter if there had never been a Christmas. Had God not been willing to send His only Son to live as one of us, Jesus could never have died for us. As I have written previously, Jesus coming to earth is the result of God’s endless pursuit of us. He would not stop at arm’s length; He wanted to be not only spiritually present with us, but also to clothe Himself in the flesh of man and walk side by side with us physically.
Satan has confused and blinded us to the marvel of Christmas. God sent His Son to redeem all of Creation. Jesus surrendered some of who He was in order to understand what it was to be fully human. Jesus felt the joys of friendship and the sorrow of utter abandonment. He lived, loved, cried, and died in the same way all people experience these things. He came not only to save us but to identify with us on every level. He knows your name and He knows your pain. Our God is not an impersonal God who lives at a distance. He became one of us so we might experience true intimacy with the very One who created us.
Christmas is indeed a very special day. Remove and ignore the glitz and the glamour, the hustle and the bustle, and you are left with the single greatest gift that has ever, or will ever, be given. Jesus came so that we might live. He came to make a way back to the Father, back to the way He designed us to live. Without Jesus, there would be no hope. Had He not been born from the womb of a virgin human girl 2,000 years ago, our lives would have no meaning and no way to connect with God. The birth of Jesus made life possible for all, and not just any life, but life as it was intended to be: full of joy, happiness, and above all, love. Don’t let the day pass without marveling at this gift. Remember the truth about what Christmas really means. It is God with us. It is God for us. It is the ultimate expression of love.