Christmas. The time close to the end of the year that about half the world celebrates. Many of us go out and buy a Christmas tree maybe by cutting one down or buying one at a store (unless you have a fake one at home to put up). We usually will decorate that tree with lights and ornaments and much of the house in the same way. The adults go shopping for presents for their kids (if they have any), sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, parents, and all their relatives. They might buy for their friends too. We’ll listen to Christmas music in the time following up to December 25th and sometime after. We’ll make ton of Christmas cookies that probably aren’t the healthiest, but still so good. Hopefully most of us get to spend a lot of time with family and relatives. It is a time of peace and joy…and happiness.
But for Christians, Christmas means so much more than all of this. The reason we celebrate Christmas is the birth of Jesus.
“And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant. And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.”
Jesus, over two thousand years ago, descended onto the Earth into the form of a baby, fully God and fully man.
Before that, Joseph and Mary had to travel almost sixty-nine miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem! Can you imagine how that would be for a woman pregnant? They didn’t have cars or carriages, at least in the latter case Joseph and Mary were probably too poor to have one. They might have had a donkey or some animal to ride, but probably not enough for both of them to ride. So they had to walk, sixty-nine miles. We could drive that in roughly an hour, but it took at least a couple days for them.
Then because the was no inn available for them, Mary laid Jesus in a manger. She laid the Son of God in a feeding trough for animals.
The birth of Jesus is I think the most significant event in history. Is it not amazing, when you really think about it? That God would send His only son to the Earth to be mocked, ridiculed, tortured, then killed, is incredible. And it’s all because He loved us so much. God wanted to save us even if it meant allowing His son to go through all that pain.
God didn’t owe us anything, but He did it anyway. Now we owe Him everything.
So as we celebrate Christmas this year, let’s remember the true reason that we’re celebrating: Jesus’s birth and the hope that he brings. Without his birth and his life lived here on earth, where would be? Still giving sacrifices to God to cleanse us of our sins, while trying to follow a standard of rules and laws that we can never live up to without the Holy Spirit.
“So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.”
So let’s celebrate! Jesus has set us free! We have hope in eternal life in Heaven after death! All because of a baby born in Bethlehem over two thousand years ago.
Remember the hope that Jesus gives.