THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CHRISTMAS
It is great that Christmas is a joyous season; of food and fun, lights and fireworks, giving and receiving presents, singing Christmas carols, and last but not least, remembering the birth of our Saviour Lord Jesus Christ. I realise that some believers, regarding it as a pagan festival, go the other way and do not celebrate Christmas at all; I grew up in one of those churches. We based our objection on some of the unbiblical practices that pass as Christmas. Could this have been "throwing the baby with the bath water"?
Redeem The Event
It is time that we redeemed the event. Christmas season presents the best time of the year for the church to present the fact of Christ. Again at this Christmas, as at every Christmas before it, the world would be inviting us to tell them about our greatest festival. The fact of Christ's birth is rooted in the Bible. It was looked forward to in several Bible prophecies, and celebrated by many including Angels, the shepherds and the wise men from the East. This is part of our Redemption History. Many important Bible truths are built around the Birth of our Lord. Reading those passages in Luke and Matthew (Lk. 1-2 and Matt. 1-2) and meditating on them is a great way to worship the Lord.
The significance of Christmas is defined for us by Apostle John. He wrote in John 1:14 "The Word became flesh and blood moved into the neighbourhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, generous inside and out, true from start to finish," (Message) The NIV translation reads, "The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." What an amazing blessing, incredible truth. Is there anything in the world that could replace this for us? Do you know anyone or anything? I know not any.
It is more than just the birth of another child. It is hard to miss the point of who Jesus is when reading the gospel of John, especially its first chapter. It does not allow us to have a kind sentimental way of looking at Christmas. What is happening here? How did Gabriel, Mary, Elizabeth, the Angels, the shepherds, Simeon and Anna see the new born child in Bethlehem? History would not be the same again, and it has not been. It is not just that time has been separated into BC and AD; it is not even the start of another religion. It is God's triumph over all the rebellious kingdoms of the earth. The King of kings to rule an everlasting Kingdom has arrived.
John would have us know that, the eternal God, the Creator of the universe, the One who gives life and breath to all, in whom we live and move and have our being, have burst into our human history. He is coming as predicted; He is coming for a purpose; it is the death of death; it is the end of sin; it is fatal for the Devil; it is His Kingdom coming, and has come; this is Salvation to all who would call on Him and restoration of all things. The Government shall be upon His shoulders. He is worthy to rule.
"We beheld His glory," said John. This is God among us. It is so, that all mankind can behold God's glory, as John and the Apostles did. They saw God in Christ. Let us pray that this Christmas millions around the world will "behold His glory." Let us pray for the millions of churches around the world as they prepare and share the Christmas message locally or globally on TV and other mass media. He is "joy to the world." There is no hope, no joy no peace apart from Christ. Thank God for the Lord Jesus Christ. How glad we are that we know Him and follow Him. Do we not want the whole wide world to follow Him?