I have a confession to make! Sometimes I watch the cheesy Christmas movies they put on TV at this time of year. They help to while away an hour or so if I need to sit and do something. The films are full of discovering the ‘Christmas spirit’, helping the Christmas scrooges enjoy the festive season, helping Santa to deliver his presents and so on. The one thing that strikes me about these films, though, is their almost complete lack of mention of the Lord Jesus.
The holiday time that we enjoy at Christmas came from a desire of the church to remember the birth of the Lord Jesus (so they tagged it on to a pre-existing festival). We don’t know, and aren’t told, when the Lord Jesus was born and in all likelihood it wasn’t December 25th but it is a good time to speak about the Lord Jesus and why He came to earth as a baby. So many people don’t see past the tiny baby in a manger, all cute and lovely and wrapped in swaddling clothes. All babies are lovely but this baby laid in a manger had a very special purpose. Galatians 4 v4 says,
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law so that we might receive adoption as sons.” (ESV)
Mary was told not to be afraid, but that the child she would have would be a son and,
“… you shall call His name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High …” Luke 1 v 31,32 (ESV)
Joseph was also told that Mary would have a son and,
“you shall call His name Jesus for He will save His people from their sins.” Matt 1 v 21 (ESV)
The purpose for Jesus’ coming was not to be remembered as a cute, gurgling baby but to be recognised as the Saviour of the world – the God-Man, who can reconcile us to God. Some of the lines in a Christmas carol express this so well –
- God and sinners reconciled
- Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
- Pleased, as Man, with man to dwell
- Born that man no more may die
- Born to give them second birth
It’s good to have a time when you think about others and for many people that time is Christmas time. The greatest act of sacrifice, and thought for others, and the greatest gift was that of the Lord Jesus. Through all the fun and laughter and family time remember this amazing gift of the Son of God who came to be the Saviour of the world.
(Carrie Skelly, Cook)