The truths of Christmas are many from the age-old prophecies being fulfilled, to the virgin birth, and to the reality that God came to us in the human flesh of Jesus. Christmas is truly the celebration of an incredible miracle beyond that which the finite mind of man can fully comprehend.
We all know the story of that first Christmas, yet do we know how to apply its most basic of lessons about God and life?
The Christmas season can be a difficult one for many. For those who have lost loved ones this past year, there will be an empty place at the table. For those who find themselves in very difficult situations, they will find the issues do not magically disappear for this one day of the year. It is a known fact that depression deepens for many at this time of year.
The reason? We have romanticized the story of Christmas and taken it out of its biblical context. We consider only the “goodness” of the Christmas gift to us in the person of Jesus and ignore the account’s larger frame of reference. Consider the following:
- An unmarried virgin is found to be with child in a small town and a hurried wedding takes place.
- Nine months into the pregnancy she must ride a donkey for days to obey government regulations.
- Not one person will give up a bed or decent place to sleep to a woman in labor.
- Mary gives birth to the Son of God in a stable filled with animals and all that goes with it.
- Men of prestige travel hundreds of miles through deserts to bring gifts to the new-born king.
- Herod seeks to kill the child and orders all baby boys under the age of two to be murdered.
- Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus must flee to Egypt and stay there until Herod dies.
While all these circumstances are being set in motion, we still have incredible rejoicing unlike any recorded in the Bible.
- A star appears over the city of Bethlehem.
- Angelic hosts appear singing praises unto God.
- Angels appear to shepherds and tell them of the glad tidings of good news.
- The announcement that the long-awaited Savior of the World is given from heaven itself.
- The shepherds run to see this new-born King with great rejoicing.
My point? The life lesson?
In the midst of far less than perfect circumstances, great celebration occurred! My friend, few people will celebrate Christmas in “perfect” circumstances this year, but that should not stop the celebration! If difficult circumstances didn’t stop heaven from celebrating 2,000 years ago, they should not stop us today. Our circumstances should have no impact on the joy we should have and know, because on this day, in the city of David some 2,000 years ago, our Savior was born to save us from our sins.
…If God the Father and the heavens could celebrate so extravagantly, so may we!