What does Christmas mean to you? To some its presents, time off from school, or crazy shopping expeditions. To others it is a time of loving, giving, and forgiving; a time of demonstrating peace and goodwill to all. To be certain, Christmas has become a commercialized extravaganza spanning cultures and to the religious and non-religious.
In this season when the world pauses to celebrate, how do we live in such a way as to point them to the one whose name we have placed at the very beginning of the word Christmas? What does Christmas mean to you? More specifically, what should Christmas mean to a disciple of Jesus Christ?
First, the obvious: Christmas is a day to commemorate the birth of our Savior. We celebrate birthdays of those we love. So certainly the birthday bash we throw for Jesus should be the grandest of them all. His birth was a miracle both in that He was conceived of a virgin and, even more unlikely, the One who created the earth and everything on it became one of us. There is not a part of His birth that is anything less than miraculous and awe-inspiring. How often do we dwell on that?
Beyond the celebration of Jesus’ birth, Christmas should be a time of humble reflection on the lengths God went to in order to bring us into relationship with Him. The all-powerful God willingly laid aside His power and glory so we might be saved from our hopeless condition. He gave it all away just to know us. What is it we’ve willingly put aside for no other purpose than to better know and abide with Him?
Christmas is a time we give to others so we might remember the gift God gave to us. All of the good things surrounding Christmas are intended to point us to Jesus. As you sit next to your Christmas tree, remember the wooden cross looming over the manger even at His birth. As you give a gift, consider how great God’s love is for you, a love so immense and uncontainable He gave His only Son in exchange for your life. Christ came for all, but what’s even more amazing is He would have come for you alone. As you receive a gift, remember when you received the free gift of salvation through Jesus. Take time to reflect in prayer and thanksgiving for all He has done for you.
Christmas is all about Christ. Everything we do to celebrate should point back to Him. Be sure you are explaining this to your children, your family, and your friends. Most importantly, make certain you understand this in your own heart. Regardless of what it has become in our culture, Christmas is all about Christ. Live Him. Breathe Him. Thank Him for coming just for you and for meeting you right where you are. This is the glory of God, and this is the glory of Christmas.