Christmas is a time when we focus on the gift of Jesus born in a manger. We all know the story of the shepherds coming to visit Mary and Joseph in the stable, the wise men, the star, the gifts, etc. If we’re not careful though, we will have exactly that attitude about Christmas, one that assumes we’ve heard it all and there’s nothing new to gain from it.
I want to challenge that assumption by simply reminding you of a two things. First, remember that Jesus was born a baby for the sole purpose of dying on the cross. The story of the baby is delightful and heartwarming, with the oxen lowing and the sheep quietly watching in the background and a glowing halo around Mary’s head (after giving birth with no pain medicine). But if we’re not careful we might be tempted to wrap it up in a neat little package for the front of the Christmas card and leave it at that. This story is just the beautiful first chapter of the life that ended (but not really) thirty-three years later on a hill outside of Jerusalem. Christmas is about the gift of Jesus for our Salvation, not the gift of the holiday where we get stuff.
Secondly, most of us will have time to relax and enjoy our friends and families over this Christmas season. Just as you think about the “rest” of the story -the fact that Jesus was born to save us -in your time of rest, find joy that Christmas is a time to celebrate life. I encourage you to take a look at the story again and find something new about it. There is always more to it that you think, and in times of rest God has a way of renewing our hearts with the truth we’ve forgotten. Don’t let the season go by without remembering and giving thanks that we celebrate the most wonderful story ever told during this time called Christmas.