It’s the biggest holiday of the year, especially among those who believe. As many have noticed, there isn’t any outrageous war about saying the word “Christmas” as there has been in years past; people (on both sides) have gone quite the opposite direction, seemingly treating “Merry Christmas,” “Christmas Tree” and the like as benign and not so politically incorrect. Which has got me thinking: People celebrate Christmas with Santa Clause, giving gifts, and by singing songs about the ambiguous “holiday” season. Why do people celebrate this holiday yet attempt to ignore the sole foundation of it? There wouldn’t be a now-mythical Saint Nick without the God in whom the original man had faith to begin with. There wouldn’t be the giving of gifts with such great joy and generosity of spirit if it hadn’t been for the original and greatest gift since the creation of the universe: The Creator, giving Himself in the form of those He created, to fulfill perfectly the law once and for all with His blood; and also His ressurection and the gift of His Spirit thereafter to any and all who believe Him.
And the angel said to [the shepherds], “Fear not, for behold, I bring you
good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this
day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” ~Luke 2:10-11, ESV
If Christmas is only about the generosity and warm hearts of humankind, then indeed it can only fill one day a year, since the love and kindness of man has limits. If it is only about the man in the red velvet suit giving gifts to youngsters based on their nice or naughty deeds, then Christmas is at its most basic an “if-then” holiday, rooted in manipulation and the status quo. If it’s just an excuse to spoil the people one loves, then I wonder that one needs a designated day to do it, besides birthdays.
Some may think my comments brash, or my view overly dramatic. I would call the act of God stepping out of heaven and choosing to submit in the flesh to the laws He himself instituted rather dramatic. Maybe, because the story has become so common to us now, we miss how miraculous it really is. Maybe we’ve just forgotten why it happened in the first place.
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
“Behold, the virgin shall concieve and bear a son, and they shall call his
name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). ~Matthew 1:22, ESV
Christmas is about God’s fulfillment of His promises; about His immeasurable love for every person, His power to accomplish what He has said. It’s more than a beautiful, warm-hearted story, more than an inspirational idea: It’s the truth, and it’s for joy and not condemnation that I’ve written what I’ve been thinking. I realized that if I believe all of this, if I believe God and all He’s done and is still doing, then I can’t celebrate Christmas like the world. I have a hope that goes beyond getting what I asked for, or even bringing joy to someone else by what I can give; I have hope that God has been faithful to every word He has ever spoken, and will be faithful yet.
And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now
on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great
things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who
fear him from generation to generation…” ~Luke 1:46-50