As the calendar draws us closer to December 25th, many of us are feeling the Christmas crunch. Shopping, baking, cleaning, cooking, parties, concerts, and travel cram our schedules. Our brains are on Christmas-overload. One thing we can all agree on, Christmastime is b-u-s-y.
Buying the perfect gift, gathering with family and friends, and enjoying the holiday atmosphere bring us joy and remind us that all the madness of Christmastime really is worth it. We agree that we should slow down and simplify, but not too much, because, after all, it’s Christmas. Holiday events, parties, and traditions create the warmth of the season.
Our Hope for Christmas
There is a lot of talk during Christmastime about what this season really means. We are encouraged to focus on its true meaning. And we should. But what, really, does Christmas mean? Popular answers might range from faith and family to magic and wonder. These are good answers. We should focus on these things and truly enjoy them. But they are not the answer.
The real answer, the true answer to the question “What does Christmas mean?” is Jesus. This may seem too simple, and perhaps even a little trite, but it is true. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The birth of Jesus Christ is so significant because it marks the time in human history when God the Son stepped out of eternity to become human like us.
Why would God do that?
Jesus came to earth as a human to live and die as a human. And so, He was born as a baby. Babies are sweet and innocent and represent new hope for the world. Many people look to the Christ-child in the same way. Jesus is a sweet, innocent newborn baby who inspires our hearts for a more hopeful future. But Jesus Christ did not come to earth to inspire hope. He came to be our Hope. Jesus came to earth to “seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
What is lost that Christ came seeking? Apart from Him, we are. Lost, not because God couldn’t find us, but lost because sin separates us from Him. God cannot dwell with sin. Sin violates God’s holy law and contradicts His holy nature. Somehow, our sin must be removed. Jesus came to remove sin’s curse for us. When we are found in Him, we become God’s children.
Christmas is really a celebration of arrival. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, arrived in human history to fulfill God’s redemptive plan for us. In Him, and Him alone, do we find true hope, not just for the holidays, but for time and eternity. And that, dear friends, is the best reason to celebrate. Merry Christmas!
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.