We are rapidly approaching Christmas, and I know that for many of us it is a joyful, but also overwhelming time of the year. We are buying things for family members, friends, and others because that is what we do at Christmas time. Yet, all of this activity can obscure what Christmas is really all about. As a result, I have been considering how to honor the Lord Jesus Christ this Christmas. As I did this I looked to the Word of God, and I was reminded of why Jesus came. The angel announced to Joseph, “you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21b).1 God the Son was sent by God the Father for the purpose of dying to save mankind from his sin (1 Pet. 1:18-21). Christmas is an annual reminder of Jesus being born to save us from our sins. This is what we as Christians are to celebrate with family, friends, and loved ones. But, we have to be intentional about doing so. If we do not plan ahead to focus on celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior at Christmas time, we will get caught up in the commercial frenzy like everyone else.
It is interesting that Gentile wise men came to worship the new born King (Matt. 2:1-12). They were familiar with the prophesied birth of the Messiah, and traveled to present him with gifts as an act of worship. Jewish shepherds left their flocks to go see the new born Messiah (Lk. 2:8-20). They had been long awaiting his birth. In these two accounts we read of Gentiles and Jews celebrating the birth of the Savior. For almost 2,000 years Christians have been celebrating the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, who came to save mankind from his sin and the wrath to come. They have celebrated his birth during times of severe persecution throughout the history of the church. Satan has always tried to divert the focus of believers, so that the focus would not be on the Lord God. One does not have to look far to see or hear “happy holidays” substituted for “merry Christmas.” I do not expect businesses or non-Christian organizations to celebrate the birth of Christ for me or for my family or for my church. It is my responsibility as a Christian to celebrate the birth, sacrificial death, and resurrection of the Savior. It should be a joyous occasion for every true born again Christian to celebrate the birth of the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, at Christmas time.
1Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, HCSB®, and Holman CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.The Holy Bible: Holman Christian Standard Version. (Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2009).