What is Christmas?

“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

I’m sure a lot of bloggers are sharing their thoughts on Christmas and what it means to them today. As with all of the “big” questions, there are many right answers to the question, “What is Christmas?” but there are also some wrong answers. Today I would like you to know what Christmas is not.

Christmas is not a chance to shamelessly demand all the gadgets and clothes we’ve been pining for all year. It is not an excuse to spend all our cash and run up our credit card bills at the mall (or online). And it is not a time to be selfish.

It is not the one perfect day of the year, and it is not a vacation from responsibility or an escape from all of the unpleasantness of life. Christmas is not a denial of war, sickness, or grief.

Jesus did not intend for any of those things when he came to earth. In fact, let me tell you some facts about his birth. The night the Son of God came into our midst was not a silent night, and I can guarantee it was not peaceful. A stable is probably the last place any mother would want to give birth, surrounded by animals and filth, but that was the only space available. The humbleness of Jesus’ birthplace illustrates the significance of his coming. He left the splendor and glory of heaven to inhabit a world that was not worthy of him, knowing that many would not welcome his coming. He came not as a conquering king, as the Jews expected, but as a carpenter turned traveling preacher. He did not bring a message that was easy but brought condemnation on those who were considered righteous. He did not claim to be one of many ways to God but the only way to God. He received a death sentence he did not deserve, but death could not keep him captive. He did not renew the world instantaneously but left his disciples to begin the church, which would carry his gospel to the world.

Christmas has nothing to do with us. It has everything to do with Him. It is a time when we should consider what Christ has done. It is a time for us to thank him for coming to be with us. And it is a time for us to look forward to his second coming.

I pray that you may experience Christ this Christmas. Whether it is for the first time or the ninety-first. He is the reason we celebrate. Without him, not only Christmas but our very lives are meaningless. Thank God for Christmas!

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