With the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, it may be easy to get caught up in all of the activity and forget to keep Christ in Christmas. This article reminds us of what Christmas is all about.
Do Not Forget Why Christmas Happened
Leandro M. Tapay
For many people, Christmas is a time for parties. It is an occasion to renew friendships that seem to fade away. It is an opportunity to reminisce about events that happened a long time ago. It is an excuse to eat much, to sing loudly and to spend more money than usual.
For Christians, it also is a time of awe and wonder as the story of Jesus’ birth is read from the Gospels again for all the world to hear.
Every Christmas season, we are thrilled to unpack the old decorations stored in the attic or in the basement. We are happy to see again the old Christmas lights and the garland. We become excited when we put up the nativity scene along with the animals, the angels, the shepherds, the wise men, and all.
But the familiarity of Christmas sometimes causes us to overlook the true meaning of Christmas. Since we have heard the Christmas songs since childhood, sometimes we fail to appreciate their poetic eloquence and meaning. We have heard of Joseph and Mary’s difficult journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem many times, but because we are so busy, we have not stopped to ponder how and why it happened.
We almost have memorized the Bible story, we have sung the carols, we have hung the holly and we have roasted the turkey. We have done them all. Yet, along the way, we may have lost touch of what happened on that first Christmas night, which is the heart of Christmas itself.
We love giving our loved ones extravagant gifts, especially on Christmas. Yes, we give gifts throughout the year – on birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions. But at Christmastime, we put a little more effort into finding that extra special gift for those special persons in our lives. Whatever the gift may be, we want it to be a bountiful expression of our love.
Why? Maybe this has something to do with the lavishness of the gift of the first Christmas morning – the extravagance of God’s love for us in giving His only Son to us.
Consider what Jesus did. He swapped the spotless throne of Heaven with the smelly and filthy stable in Bethlehem. He exchanged the worship of angels in heaven for the company of sinful people on earth. Jesus, who could hold the whole universe in His palm, chose to become a helpless baby.
If you were God, would you sleep on straw, nurse from a breast, and wear a diaper? If you knew that only a few would care that you came, would you still come? If you knew that those you love would laugh in your face, would you still come? If you knew that the tongues you made would mock you and the mouth you made would spit on you, that the hands you made would crucify you, would you still make them? Christ did!
Why? Because that is what love does. Love puts the beloved before one’s own self. You ae more important than His blood. Your eternal life is more important to Him than His own earthly life. Your place in heaven is more important to Him than His own place in heaven. Because of it, He gave up His own place so you could have your place.
God’s love is a love that knows no bounds, no limits, and no end. This if the type of love that we are commanded to give to one another:
“So, I am giving you a new commandment. Love one another just as I have loved you” (John 13:34).