Christmastime can be busy, chaotic, and downright stressful. This is why we need to remember what Christmas is REALLY all about.
So, we can find joy, peace, and rest. Even in a season of busyness.
Because when we remember the reason for the season, we realize what a gift Christmas really is.
What is the purpose of Christmas?
The purpose of Christmas is to remind us of truths we tend to forget. Because life can get so busy and stressful sometimes that we need the opportunity that Christmas gives us to take a step back and reflect.
To remember what is important.
And to spend time in the Presence of our King . . . so He can remind us of a few things.
- How much He loves us. (1 John 4:10)
- That we have been forgiven for everything. (Psalm 103:12)
- And that because of Jesus, we have an amazing future to look forward to. (Rev. 21)
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”-1 John 4:10 NIV
What is the Christmas celebration all about?
The Christmas celebration is all about remembering the birth of Jesus. It is a time to reflect on what God has done for us. The fact that the God who created everything gave up everything so He could save you and me.
Which is pretty amazing.
It’s also a time to show our love and gratitude for His gift to us of salvation. We do this through times of praise and worship throughout the season. And our own gifts of generosity to our loved ones, those around us, and even our gifts to charities.
What Does Christmas Mean for Me?
There are a couple of very important things to keep in mind at Christmas time. These are what Christmas means for us personally. And by taking the time to ponder these things, we will find joy no matter the season.
Christmas Means God Sees You
Let me ask you this . . . when you announce the birth of a baby, who is the first person you tell? Generally, you go to your family first, right? Because those are the people who are most important to you.
Then you announce it to your friends. And then finally you put it out there for the world to see via social media or the newspaper.
The first people God announced the birth of His son to were shepherds.
So, the question we are left with is, “Why them?”
In many nativities, the shepherds are depicted as older men, but if you look into the history of shepherding in biblical times, it was often a job left to mere children.
“The youngest boy in the family becomes the shepherd of the sheep, especially when the Arab peasant is a shepherd as well as being a farmer of grain. As the older son grows up he transfers his energies from sheep raising to helping the father with sowing, plowing, and harvesting the crops, and passes on the shepherd’s task to the next younger boy.
And so the job is passed from older to younger until the youngest of all becomes the family shepherd. Such must have been the custom when Jesse raised his family of eight sons. “And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, ‘There remaineth yet the youngest, and behold, he keepeth the sheep.’ (1Sam. 16:11)”–Ancient-Hebrew.org
Can you imagine being an older child or young teen and being out alone all night with sheep as your only companions?
Those young shepherds probably felt left out, overlooked, and forgotten.
And yet they were the first people God chose to tell about His Son’s arrival. They were the first to see the Light of the World. The Prince of Peace.
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government shall be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.-Isaiah 9:6 NKJV
Maybe God chose to announce it to those shepherds first in order to show that because of Jesus everyone has a chance to be a part of God’s family.
- No matter their status.
- No matter their position.
- No matter who they were or what they have done.
And isn’t that just like God?
To invite those that society has forgotten. To notice the ones who are all alone. To elevate those the world has left out.
That first Christmas Jesus took on flesh to prove once and for all, how much God loves you.
God hasn’t forgotten you. He sees you. And He loves you so much that He wants you to be a part of His family.
This is what Christmas means for you personally.
Christmas is an amazing reminder that God sees you and dearly loves you.
Christmas Means God Has Forgiven You
I love the Christmas song, “What Child is this?” But this song may have had a less-than-noble past.
It was set to the music from a song called, “Greensleeves”.
Some historians think this song was a love ballad about a spurned lover. Some think the name comes from getting green grass stains on your clothes due to performing certain love activities outdoors. And others even say it might be talking about prostitution!
And yet when Sir John Strainer paired a poem titled, “The Manger Throne” with the hauntingly beautiful melody of “Greensleeves” . . . a whole new song was born.
A song that became a classic Christmas carol.
And isn’t that just like God?
To take something scandalous and redeem it so it can be used for His glory?
Just like He did with the Samaritan woman. A woman shunned for her digressions. Cast out by society. A woman so burdened by her guilt that she would rather face the heat of midday than the heat of her shame.
And yet after meeting Jesus, she ran into the town to tell everyone who had looked down on her about the One who truly knew everything about her. And because of her testimony . . . many believed.
“Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me everything I ever did.’”-John 4:39 NIV
The truth is every single one of us has a chapter in our story we would rather not have read out loud.
- We have all sinned.
- We have all fallen short.
But God doesn’t leave us in our mess.
He washes us clean in the blood of His Son. He scrubs away the regrets of yesterday. And then clothes us in the robes of His amazing love and grace.
- No matter what you have done.
- No matter what you are stuck in the middle of doing right now.
God can take the broken pieces of your life and make a stunning masterpiece.
You may have a scandalous beginning, but with Jesus, you can have a beautiful ending.
This is what Christmas means for you personally.
Christmas is a reminder that the greatest gift you could ever be given . . . is to be forgiven.
“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.”-Galatians 2:20 NLT
The Truth About Christmas
The truth about Christmas is that while Jesus may be the reason for the season . . . YOU were His reason.
Jesus came to this Earth. Lived the life you could never live – a life of sinless perfection. And He died the death you should have died – as punishment for your sins. All because of how much He loved you.
The whole reason Jesus came to earth was for you.
And that is a beautiful truth worth celebrating!
A Christmas Prayer
Thank you that because of Your son Jesus, the greatest gift to ever be given, we have hope. No matter what we’re going through we can hold onto the truth that this world is not all there is. There is a glorious future awaiting us. And someday we will live forever in a place where there will be no more crying, suffering, or pain.
Thank You, Heavenly Father, for this most precious gift we remember at Christmastime.
The gift of Your Holy Son.
A child born for sacrifice. To pay the penalty for our sins. To redeem this broken world. And to make a way for us to enter Heaven.
Thank you for sending Your Son to bring peace, hope, and joy to the world. And to show us how dearly loved we are.
May we feel Your Presence in our hearts and homes this Christmas as we celebrate the day the Holy One of Heaven became the Precious One born to save us all.
The REAL Meaning of Christmas
Every year on Christmas Eve, my family and I watch “The Nativity Story”. The thing I love the most about this movie is how it portrays the humanity behind the characters of the story that we all know so well.
One of those moments is when Mary asks Joseph:
“Do you ever wonder when we will know?”
Joseph responds, “Know what?”
Mary says, “When he is more than just a child. Will it be something he says? A look in his eyes?”
And Joseph replies, “I wonder if I will even be able to teach him anything.”
Sometimes we can hear this all too familiar Christmas story and forget the humanity behind the characters we read about.
But these were real people.
Mary was a mother who worried about whether she was doing everything right. Who loved her children with all her heart. And who sacrificed much in order to answer God’s call on her life.
Joseph was a man who raised a son who was not his own. He chose to try and be the best father he could to a child that was perfection itself. He chose to endure ridicule and the rumors that he was involved in something scandalous when he knew nothing was further from the truth.
Well, He was completely God. And yet He was also completely human, too.
He dealt with the aches and sorrows of this world. He endured annoying brothers and sisters, sore muscles from physical labor, pain and sickness, and the betrayal and rejection of those closest to him.
He even labored hard in this world as a carpenter.
Which meant He pounded nails into pieces of wood all day long . . .fully knowing that nails would someday be driven into his own hands and feet.
All because He loved you and me.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believe in him won’t perish but will have eternal life.”-John 3:16
That is what makes Christmas so amazing. It is the time of year we remember that this was just the beginning of a very, long journey for our Lord and Savior.
- It wasn’t easy.
- It wasn’t fun.
And yet He did it all for me and you.
- To redeem us.
- To pay the penalty for our sins.
- To prove once and for all, how much He really loves us.
This is the REAL meaning of Christmas . . . because Christmas was the beginning of Jesus’s journey to the cross.
At Christmas, we celebrate Jesus.
Because of Him, we were given a hope that nothing in this world could take away.
Because of Him, we have an amazing future to look forward to.
And because of Him, we were given the greatest gift we could ever be given . . . the chance to be forgiven.
That is what Christmas is REALLY all about.
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