Holidays, family gatherings, festivities, fireplaces, carols, shopping sprees and bills? Or it reminds us of our loneliness, our problems, the good old days, the pain of not being able to cope with the demands of our children, and the lack of food?
What does Christmas remind us of?
Does it remind us that about two thousand years ago, a child was born in a manger in a small village called Bethlehem, who grew to give humanity the hope of finding its destiny? Does Christmas take us back even further in time when humanity, by turning their back on God, brought themselves under the sentence of the law of sin and death; when humanity forfeited their right to eternal life, and dominion over all creation; the creation in which the only operational law would be the law of the Spirit of Life?
How does Christmas fit into this picture?
Christmas is the beginning of God’s physical intervention into a system of sin and death, to deal with the problem of sin which issued in death, to take away and resolve the matter of sin which keeps us away from our divinely appointed destiny. The baby born in the manger of Bethlehem was to reveal the fatherhood of God to humanity. He came to reveal the heart and mind of the Father concerning His plan and purpose for humanity. He was to create a desire in our hearts. The desire to be a part of this beautiful plan and purpose; and to ultimately open the way to the way for each and every one of us to enter the presence of God, by dying on the Cross, resurrecting from the grave, in which sin and death were buried, and subsequently sitting at the right hand of the Father.
Christmas was and is the beginning of the demonstration of the Father’s love for you and me. What a love! What a price to pay for this love, to set us free from the tyranny of sin and death!
We utter the word sin so easily without really recognizing the tyrannical hold and power it has on our whole being. No word can sufficiently define this concept. Someone rightly said, “Sin provides certain tranquilizers: it deadens the senses; it deafens a man to the ‘still, small voice’; it blinds him to the essentials of a normal life; it binds him with all sorts of fears; turns him loose to live in a maze of unanswered questions; and finally kills him.”
An English preacher once said, “Sin may be likened to a mathematician: it adds to man’s troubles, subtracts from his energies, multiplies his aches and pains, divides his mind, takes interest from his work, discounts the chances of his success, squares his conscience, and finally brings him to naught (zero).” These statements might sound humorous, but sin is a deadly law and unless someone set us free, we are all bound by this law. In other words, sin prevents our conformity to God’s image which is our call, election and destiny.
On the other side of this tragedy is salvation! It is the greatest and the most comprehensive word in any vocabulary. Love can remain silent, unexpressed; but salvation is love in action.
Salvation is a demonstration of the loving kindness of God into which He has pressed all that He has planned for us and feels toward us. God put His all in His Son Jesus Christ who was born in the manger of Bethlehem.
Christmas should remind us of Bethlehem, of the loving kindness of God, and of the ultimate outcome of “such great salvation” into which we are led by taking the step of receiving the forgiveness of sins provided through the shedding of the blood of the Bethlehem Lamb. Then, every day, our lives are governed by the same loving kindness which keeps us on the path of our eternal destiny: conformity to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Let Him who was born in the manger of Bethlehem visit you and be born into the manger of your heart.
Invite Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, in your heart and let Christmas become the beginning of your spiritual odyssey.