A Christmas Story

bethlehem star

This isn’t a story about the world’s consumerism or materialism. It isn’t a story about who got what for Christmas or how many gifts we owe someone. This isn’t about a fat man in a red suit coming down the chimney. This is about the real meaning of Christmas. It’s about the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ. God came down as man so he would not judge the world, but instead to save the world through him( John 3:17). It’s the story about a man who came down as poor so that we could be rich in him. It’s the story about a man who lived over 2000 years ago so that we would be made right with God the Father. This is the true, ultimate Christmas story!

Trinkets and Toys
It’s not about our new trinkets and toys. This special time of the year is about the birth of our savior Jesus Christ. But we now live in a time where Christmas is all about materialism. Christmas has become one of the more depressing times of the year because people will continually get involved in the rat race of searching for that one perfect gift to please others. Here’s the answer to everyone searching for that certain gift for that special someone: there are none! Every single gift you buy, whether it be a new car, clothes or any trinket or toy, is that much closer to it being in a garage sell or dump as soon as you purchase it. Don’t get me wrong, new stuff is always great to have. They make us feel more complete momentarily, but the newness of it eventually wears off. But it is what we have culturally been fed to find life in during this time of the year. There is nothing more deplorable than seeing a bunch of grown men, who are acting like boys, waiting in line and fighting for some $200 Jordan’s. It is materialism at its worst, and it will only continue to get worst because our society gets further and further away from the true meaning of Christmas and what Jesus did for us. And as we continue to do that, the bleaker Christmas will appear. The earthly possession we continue to find life in will eventually wear off. When God created us, he wired us to search for a certain desire, but not for earthly possessions. That desire that God intrinsically put in us is for us to find life through his son Jesus Christ. For Jesus said in John 4:14, “But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”. There is one way to reach the fullness of life on Earth, and that is through the son.

Humility
Every time I read the Gospels about God coming down as man, I always think of all the different ways he could of presented himself to Earth. I mean he is God, and he could have entered Earth in some spectacular fashion to show that he is the all mighty and powerful God, but yet, he decided not to do that. He decided to humble himself and enter the world as a baby. I think God came down as a baby because it is a sign of new hope and a new beginning. Jesus, our God who is the king of kings, was not birthed in some royal palace, but yet was birthed in a manger in the small town of Bethlehem. Before Jesus began his ministry, he was a carpenter. He was a regular, blue collar type guy who never sinned. The Bible doesn’t give us much about the appearance of Jesus, but it does give us a little bit of a description in Isaiah 52:3. According to the scripture, he was not much to look at. It reads, “My servant grew up in the lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him.” For as majestic and omnipotent as God the Father is, he could have come down as just the same in human flesh. I want to illustrate the humility that God layed down for us. For a lot of us, especially men, the biggest thing that may be in the way between us and getting closer to God is our pride. We must let that go. The most loving thing I ever heard a pastor say to a congregation is that ” you are all not awesome. God is, but you aren’t.” Jesus, God in human flesh, said, “If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.” Our society gives off the notion that it wants Jesus, but may not want him in all facets of life. Once we completely surrender ourselves to God, that is when he will make us new. God the Father intends for us one day to become like his son Jesus. But before we do that, we must humble ourselves before God on Earth. It’s almost as if Earth is just the pre-trial before we become our real selves in Heaven. We are to get rid of our self-centeredness and become a servant of the Lord. Jesus had all the reasons in the world to make everythung about himself. But even Jesus, as powerful as he was, became a servant for other people. He specialized in menial task that other people wouldn’t bother doing: washing feet, helping children and serving lepers. Think how much the world would flourish if we all became servants.

Excitement
I do love this time of the year. It is definitely the best time of the year because it brings great excitement. There was nothing more exciting and hopeful in this Earth’s history than the birth of Jesus Christ. When the three wise men saw the star of Bethlehem, they became excited and traveled for many years to find the birth of the messiah. Once they arrived in Bethlehem and saw baby Jesus, they grew with even more excitement and joy and told others about the birth of the messiah. It’s the same way for us in our lives. Once we truly encounter Jesus, we cannot help but tell others. It’s the greatest thing anyone will ever receive in their life. When you receive that new car that you’ve desired for such a long time this Christmas, you cannot help but tell others it. You take pictures of it, share it on Instagram and Facebook and tell others about how great it is. It is similar when you truly encounter Jesus but even greater.

Love
This last one to me is what life is all about. Our God is clearly a God of love. It’s evident through creation and all over the world. But he made it most evident when he brought down his son Jesus Christ. In 1 John 3:1, it says, “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him.” If you ever want to know what God the Father is like, study the life and times of Jesus Christ. It will clearly show that God is nothing but love and does not want a religion from us, but wants a relationship. Jesus taught us that we are supposed to love each other. The most important things in life are not about material possessions. It is not about these things that cultural materialism has fed into our souls; they’re only temporary. Life is about the relationships that we encounter with each other because that is eternal, and one day we will all be with each other with God in glory(Heaven) for eternity. That’s a long time! The topic of Heaven, in my opinion, is one that I wish was preached more about in churches. First off, Earth is not our home, heaven is. Secondly, think of a time when you were happiest in your life and nothing seemed to go wrong. The joy inside your soul was just insurmountable. Well Heaven will be like that, except 1000x’s better and for eternity. And we will be sharing that eternity with the ones we love, and most of all, God. In John 14:2-4, Jesus said, “There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.”

No matter what the world has fed us, Christmas is not a time about getting new stuff. There is nothing wrong with getting new stuff at all. I love getting new things, but I have to pray all the time that I don’t let it consume me. In this season, let’s remember what this time is all about. It’s about the greatest gift ever known to man. It was a man who changed the world forever. I just wanted to use this post to say Happy Birthday to Jesus, and thank him for the ultimate story of hope. What a great Christmas story!

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

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