As we approach Christmas day, a reminder that we have added another year to life, it is good to ponder the meaning of Christmas for each of us. As we review Christmases past, gatherings with friends and family, pondering those who have been born, and those who have left us since we last celebrated Christmas gives pause to ignore the glitter and marketing that occurs at this time of year, and we are challenged to consider the meaning of Christmas to each of us, individually.
Of course, we would have no Christmas at all without Christ. He is left out of so many of contemporary Christmas traditions, but His coming into our world in the form of a child to live, teach, and die so that each of us could have a relationship with God still forms the very heart of Christmas.
Among many other Scriptures, Isaiah 9:6 prophesied His coming hundreds of years earlier “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
Most of us are very familiar with the Christmas story, told in the second chapter of Luke as follows:
Luke 2:1 “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. “
As each of us is reminded of this miracle, we further are told in Scripture that the motivation behind God giving His son to us was because He loves us, as we are reminded in John 3:16:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
While many of us are acquainted with this verse from our childhood, it would be wise for us to evaluate our own relationship with Him, as God continues to tell us more about the consequences of failure to accept His gift of live, in the next verses:
John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
At the Patriotstatesman.com, we wish each and every one of you the merriest of Christmases, looking forward to the very best of New Years. Our wish for you is have a few moments, amongst all the merriment and activities of this season, to ponder and reflect on what the true meaning of Christmas is to you, and not to allow another Christmas to pass without thanking God for the gift of His Son, His example and offering for each and every one of us! Merry Christmas!
Please spare a few moments, and share with us your special Christmas memories!