Christmas is such a magical time. There is just something about lights and snow that makes me want to drink hot chocolate with candy canes. It brings families together and brings people to church for candlelight services. There is something very intriguing to us about a silent night that was interrupted by a chorus of angels praising God for the birth of Jesus Christ. The only thing is that each year it seems like we add more distance between that scene in Bethlehem and what Christmas has become. Yet, no matter what we try to scream at each other, Christmas still means something valuable to all of us. We don’t just enjoy it, we long for it. It is the one time of year when we throw out all caution about leaving the lights on and we add more lights to our home. I mean, it is Christmas — it only comes once a year!
Steeped in all of the commercial and political correct jargon is the reality of what has taken place. Sure a winter solstice is happening, but Christmas was not that big of a deal until it became a celebration of Jesus. It provided a time for us to gather together to tell the story of God taking on flesh to save people who have rejected Him. It allows all of us to start to answer the question about what this is all about and how we can have hope in a future. Jesus is the gift we need and He is where the focus needs to be. The story actually includes us.
Think about what would happen if you received a gift that would save your life. If your life literally hung in the balance and you got what you needed to live, would you put that gift on the shelf? I know I would open it up and apply it to my life. If I knew someone else with the same problem as I had, I think it would be a nice idea to try to save them too, wouldn’t it?
In Luke 2 there are shepherds out tending to their flocks. It says that they were living in the fields. I would imagine that it was an ordinary night of sheep watching. Then God showed up and His glory shown around them. In other words, they knew that it was the Lord who was showing up to tell them something. Despite their fear, they are able to calm down and hear about the Savior who has been born. The gift is a baby and not just any baby, the Savior of the world for all people!
So they go to see and they find the baby in the manger. What they do next is what I think we need to remember — they went and told everyone! There is good news and they want the world to know.
This challenges me to make sure I don’t miss out on the giving part of Christmas. There are people all around us who have never received the gift of forgiveness and eternal life in Jesus Christ. We must not keep Him to ourselves. I know it is not politically correct to talk about Jesus, but it is far worse not to. The Savior has come for all people. (yes, even them)
I believe that all of the rhetoric and media hype over things people say is just a distraction from what really matters. We need to keep our head on straight. Jesus Christ is the way for anyone who will come. Christmas is a holiday to celebrate that. The Bible is truth and God does not need us to defend any of it. We are to share the gift of Jesus with the world around us.
As you receive the blessing of drawing near to God because of Jesus, remember also to share Him with others.