Leslie M. John
What exactly does Christmas mean?
Seven hundred years before Christ, there lived a prophet called Isaiah. In the Old Testament book Isaiah Chapter 9:6 there is prophesy about Jesus Christ. It reads…“For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called ‘Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of peace.’”
In the New Testament, Luke Chapter 1 verses 26 to 38 we read, “God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town of Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendent of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
When Mary was afraid, the angel said, “Do not be afraid, Mary you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High”.
The Lord will give him the throne of David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, his kingdom will never end. “How this will be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”
Before Joseph and Mary came together, Mary was found with child through Holy Spirit. Because Joseph was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to put her away quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (cf. Mt.1:18-24).
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet. When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son.
Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem. Was He born on December 25th? Bible neither records the date of His birth nor the existence of Santa Claus. Obviously God did not intend to give prominence to the date neither to the celebration of His birth. Nevertheless, if we remember His incarnation, let us thank Him for the purpose for which He came in to this world. Bible says…
“Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:6-11)
The Lord grew up in a poor carpenter’s family. He preached the Kingdom of God; way to obtain salvation, died for our sake upon the cross of Calvary, was buried and rose upon the third day. Later, he ascended in to heaven. He said
“…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”. (John 14:6)
Do we indeed remind ourselves of the birth of Jesus Christ, or celebrate just for the sake of enjoyment? Let us not remove “Christ” from our homes and hearts when we celebrate Christmas. Let not gift-presenting Santa Claus take the place of eternal-life-giver, Jesus Christ, otherwise, Christmas becomes a fairy tale, rather than rendering a pure and excellent reality in the spiritual realm.
Let us not neglect the Church. Let us not neglect the needy. Let our abundant blessings be showered on as many poor as possible. Let us prepare our souls for Christmas. Truly, many of us spend a great deal of time, energy and money ignoring the preparation of our souls to revere Christ. Let us concede greater place for Christ in our hearts rather than the day, Christmas.