It’s that time of year again. December has come and with it all the joys of Christmas. But what is the real meaning of Christmas? Is it the gifts under the tree, the lights in the windows, the cards in the mail, turkey dinners with family and friends, snow in the yard, stockings hanging in the living room, and shouts of “Merry Christmas” to those who pass us in the streets? Is this really Christmas?
For many people, Christmas is a time of sorrow. They don’t have the extra money to buy presents for their children, family, and friends. Many are saddened at Christmastime when they think of their loved ones who have departed and others who will not be able to come home for various reasons. For some Christmas dinners may be only a wish and not a reality.
Yet, Christmas can be a season of great joy. It is a time of God showing His great love for us. It can be a time of healing and renewed strength. You see, Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of the Christ child. God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to be born. His birth brought great joy to the world. Shepherds, wise men, and angels all shared in the excitement of knowing about this great event. They knew this was no ordinary baby. The prophets had told of His coming hundreds of years before. The star stopped over Bethlehem just to mark the way for those who were looking for this special child.
Luke 2: 7-11 says:
And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. 8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Why did He come? Why did God Send His son to this sometimes cruel and hard world?
He sent Jesus to us so that one day, He would grow up to become a very important part of history. His story (history) is one of truth, love, and hope. It brought salvation to all of us. Without Jesus, we would all die in our sins.
Jesus was born so one day the price could be paid for the things we have done that are wrong. The Bible says that all have sinned. We are all born with a sin nature. We do things that do not please God. Through the sins of Adam and Eve, we have all inherited that sin nature. We need to have that removed. The only way is through Jesus. Jesus came so He could die on the cross for ALL of our sins. If we believe that Jesus died for our sins, we can ask Him to come into our hearts and forgive us. Then, we are clean and made whole. We can know that heaven is a place where we can go to when this life is over.
As the New Year 2017 approaches, 20th of January to be exact; we will have the inauguration of President-elect Donald J. Trump to be the Commander-in-chief of these United States of America. The Presidential Campaign rhetoric, the harsh words spoken, the actions demonstrated, the bitterness which was part and parcel of that campaign on both sides, should by then be things of the past. Then the business of healing the divisions, calming the fears, assuring the populace that what now becomes priority is the unity of purpose, respect for all Americans, even the least among us, and the acceptance of all despite color, religion, or political persuasion. May God bless these United States of America; help us to understand we are a part of a world which yearns for peace just as was the expectation when the first Christmas came about.
So this Christmas let us allow the Christ to be born in our hearts. Let us open ourselves to his grace and receive the free gift of salvation which God has given us through Christ. Let us show love, demonstrate peace and good will to all. Let us not render evil for evil, let us respect one another, and accept each other as God in Christ accepted us.
From the Pastor, his family, the officers and members of the Ebenezer Wesleyan Methodist Church; Merry Christmas a peaceful and prosperous new year with God’s riches blessings.
Adapted In Part From:
The Real Meaning Of Christmas. Noebel, Martha. (2007).