Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Importance of Christmas

Have you ever stopped to wonder why Christmas is just so important and why it is so important? To some, Christmas is a good time of year for the family; to others it is the time of year that helps their retail business stay afloat and keep them in the black for the rest of the year, but for others, the real meaning of Christmas is the fact of "Immanuel" or "God with us". The reason that we as Christians celebrate Christmas is because of the seemingly inconceivable miracle of the fact that God saw our sinful condition and decided to enter time and space in the form of a baby boy named Jesus born to Mary in the Roman backwater of First-Century Palestine.

Think about it this way, with this illustration:

Many years ago, there was a middle-aged farmer with a wife and two kids. The farmer was a loyal Christian and church-goer for most of his life, but that particular year he was feeling disheartened. His church had went through a very painful split and the pastor that he had grew fond of ending up having to resign. As a result, he felt that most Christians were hypocrites, and he was beginning to doubt his faith altogether. The church had their usual Christmas-eve service, and his family went as they always did, except this time he decided not to go. His wife and kids left him alone, and now he contemplated his life. As he walked to the barn he noticed some birds huddled together on the ground, apparently having missed the migration. The birds were freezing, he knew, and would likely die if they stayed where they were. If only he could get them to the safety of the warm barn....he tried everything he could think of, but the birds were scared to death of him. He even tried shooing them into the barn, but with no luck whatsoever. He finally had an epiphany. The birds are afraid of me. If only I could become one of them, then I could guide them into the safety of the warm barn. He then realized that Immanuel, or "God with us", had done just that on that cold evening thousands of years ago in early Palestine. That, my friends, is the purpose of Christmas. To remember that God in all his majesty entered time and space to be our Savior is the most important way to view the Christmas holidays.

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