Typically I do favorites for the month on the last Friday of the month. Obviously today is a super special day and instead of making it a post about products, I wanted to share the significance of today and how to make the story of the birth of Jesus, easier to apply in 2020.
We focus on gifts and products and shopping for basically a month, and then Christmas Day arrives and we tear into the gifts we’ve bought each other and then what? Most of us spend the day sleeping, watching TV, snacking, playing with new gifts, posting pictures of our new items and everything but thinking about why we celebrate this day in the first place.
Don’t get me wrong, Jesus received gifts too and I truly believe that God loves to see us share gifts with one another, as a way to show our love for each other. This day can be especially exciting if gifts is one of your top love languages. But what exactly are we celebrating? What is the significance of us giving gifts to one another? Allow me the next couple of minutes to explain the importance of this day.
What is the significance of the birth of Jesus?
Without getting too complex and digging all the way into Jewish culture and history, Jesus was at the time a sign from God that the Israelite’s had long waited for. They were promised a savior that would free them from their slavery, from their ridicule, from their misery. Jesus was the answer to everything they had been hoping for.
For us today, over two thousand years later, it’s still a sign of freedom. We don’t often think of ourselves in Western Culture especially, as enslaved. The modern terminology has given us a complex that forces us to believe that because we have no “owner” that we’re free. The jokes on us. The Bible teaches us that the moment we enter the world, we’re a slave to sin (Romans 6:20-22). Sin is the ultimate slave and without Jesus we’d be enslaved forever with no hope of ever being free.
The old testament teaches us that the only way that Jews could experience forgiveness for their sin at one time, was to offer sacrifices (living ones at that). That is until Jesus stepped on the scene. Without the birth of Jesus, we wouldn’t have had the death and resurrection of Jesus, which means that to this day the only way to satisfy to wrath of God would be to offer sacrifices. How grateful I am that Jesus sacrifices himself so I don’t have to sacrifice anything else. Just pause for a moment and take in the realization of what this means. Jesus coming down to Earth, allows us FREEDOM. Freedom to do anything we want, receive grace from God and keep living our lives. So much goodness of God is in that truth.
What should we take away from the story?
The story about Mary and Joseph and the long trail they took and all that they endured just to have Jesus is nothing short of a miracle itself. The story (Luke 2:1-20) is one that I recommend you spend today reading, but also is a beautiful gift to us about the goodness and faithfulness of God. See without Jesus being born on this special day, we would never have really seen the full grace of God. Don’t get me wrong, the old testament is still FULL of examples of God’s grace for His people, but there’s an intimacy and a tangible nature that Jesus brought to us.
The day Jesus was born, was the day that we were allowed to see the face of God. The day Jesus was born was the day that God Himself put on human flesh and allowed us to feel Him, to see Him, to talk with Him, to cry and laugh with Him. The day Jesus was born is the day that God allowed us to fully experience Him. The story of Jesus’ birth is OUR story, is the perfect example of the strife and pain that we experience in life only to be met with our salvation and freedom in Christ.
How to spend time on Christmas honoring Jesus
Other than the obvious, which is literally spending time alone with God today I would implore you to take a moment to evaluate your life. Are you sitting on a comfy couch reading this blog with gifts and family all around? Are you reading this on your new phone or laptop? Are you at work reading this blog? Are you surrounded by blessings and joy and happiness? Take a moment to thank God today. Remember for just a moment that without Jesus, you wouldn’t even be celebrating this beautiful day. Remember that without Jesus, Christmas wouldn’t be one of the only Holiday’s that is universally celebrated, which is itself totally crazy.
It’s one of the easiest times of the year to love people. One of my favorite things about Christmas is the tangible shift in the air and the way that everyone treats one another. I’m usually an emotional wreck around Christmas because everyone is just so kind and loving. To me, that says something about just how special this Holiday is. Jesus was and is the perfect example and fulfillment of God’s love for us and there’s something totally second nature and involuntary about how much we love other’s on this day. I can’t think of any better way to show Jesus how much you love Him, than by intentionally loving the people in your life. I know that it’s much easier said than done, but spend some time today just spreading love. I know that God’s heart is filled with joy when He see’s His children loving one another.
Merry Christmas my friend. May you spend today taking in every moment of goodness, laughter, joy and splendor that today brings each of us. I pray that everyone who reads this is reminded of the beautiful story of Jesus and His love for you.