Have you thought what the true meaning of Christmas is?
Does it just mean these sorts of things? Christmas dinner with the family, giving and receiving presents, singing carols with out thinking of the meaning, having a break from work? Do you celebrate the birth of Jesus? Let us spend a few minutes just thinking about the real meaning of Christmas.
Christmas is the story of how God came in human form as a Saviour to enter into our lives. He came in a simple way. He chose a stable and a manger, a humble place. God told the prophets what he planned to do long before it happened and God kept his promise. The Saviour was born in Bethlehem.
Micah 5:2 But you, Bethlehem Ephrata, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from old, from ancient times.
The most amazing thing of all this that we share a place in this story, because we are the reason He came to earth. You know if Jesus had not been born we would not have had someone who was could to stand in our place and die for us on Calvary.
Christmas is the story of a promise. For hundreds of years God had been making promises to His people. He had promised a Prince, a Shepherd, a Healer, a Conqueror, a Prophet, a Priest, a Lion, a Lamb. He had promised peace, He had promised freedom, He had promised love and life without end. Finally, one evening, in the blackness of midnight, the promises all came together as one magnificent Promise. The promise was a baby. The promise was Emanuel, The promise was God himself. The promise is Jesus.
Luke 2:1-7 In those days, Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world and in those days everyone went to his own town to be registered. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born and she gave birth to here firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Christmas is the story of a Baby. He was wrapped tightly in swaddling clothes, strips of cloth to keep his limbs warm and straight. Instead of a cradle, He was laid in a manger - a feeding trough for animals. He had no other place to sleep. Why would God leave the the beauty, peace and happiness of heaven to become a poor, weak helpless infant. He came because He loved us.
Yes this is the reason He came.
Christmas is the story of Love. It was Love that celebrated that night in the skies over Bethlehem with angels, music and shouts of praise. Love was sent to draw shepherds from the hillside to come and worship the Baby. Love draws us together to come and worship Him as we celebrate His birth. And we can sense it reaching out each Christmas to share with the needy all around us. He has come to our unhappy world to be our Wonderful Counselor, to our weak and powerless lives to be our Mighty God, to our fragmented families to be our everlasting family to be our Everlasting Father and to our strained and shattered relationships to be our Prince of Peace. He has come to be our Saviour.
Luke 2:8-16 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them and they were terrified. But the angel said to them "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David (Bethlehem) a Saviour has been born to you, He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you - You will find the babe wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger". Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angle, praising God and saying "Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace to men on whom His favor rests". When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another "Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about",. So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and the baby lying in a manger.
Christmas is the story of light. In the beginning God said "Let there be light" and there was light. When Jesus the Light of the World was born, the glory of heaven flooded the night sky. When Jesus comes into our hearts, sin is forgiven, and He fills us with His light and love. That's why we often celebrate Christmas by hanging beautiful lights all around us, because the Light has come into the world and into our hearts.
Luke 2:27-32 When the parents brought the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God saying "Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismissed your servant in peace for my eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light to the Gentiles and for the glory of your people Israel
Christmas is the story of a King. The Child King was Lord of the Universe, Almighty God. He ruled with humility and self-sacrifice, with love and forgiveness. He faced death and destroyed it. His kingdom will never end.
Mathew 2:1-2,7-11 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi came from the east to Jerusalem and asked " Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews? We have seen his star in the east and have come to worship him," Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said to make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find Him, report to me so that I too may go and worship Him. After they had heard the King, they went on their way and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming tot he house they saw the Child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped Him. then they opened their treasures and presented unto Him, gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
Christmas is a story of a Star. The wise men had studied the stars for years but suddenly, One Star, caused them to leave home on a long journey traveling many difficult months. That One Star was their only guide and it led them to a simple house in the tiny village of Bethlehem where they bowed down and worshipped.
Christmas is a story of worship. When the shepherds heard that the promised one had come, they ran to Bethlehem and worshipped the Child. When the wise men knew that He was born, they came and brought precious gifts, gifts fit for a King. they bowed low and worshipped Him. How can we do less? With all the celebrating at this time of the year, let us remember that it was for us He reigns. O come let us worship Christ the Lord.
Christmas is the story of Joy. It's a story of wonder, of magnificent promises made and kept. It's a story of faith, of love and light and worship. It's a story of kings and angels, of shepherds and wise men. But above all, Christmas is the story of Jesus. When we sing a Christmas Carol we sing about Him. As we celebrate, we celebrate Him. Christmas is a story of Joy.