The Christmas season does not erase all the events that may have taken place in our lives this year. For some people it maybe an added financial burden. For some individuals the pain of losing a loved one heightens because of all the things that person did during Christmas that is missed. Christmas maybe the culmination of events but it does not erase them. A reflection on what was Christmas like for those who God used to establish this magnificent act of God in human history may refresh us.
When you reflect on what Christ meant for Joseph, Mary and all the mothers in Jerusalem who had lost their sons it was a very stressful time. Joseph who had to make plans for year to build a house, prepare for a wedding is told by his pregnant fiancé that she is with child from God. This puts her life and his life in a direction that they never imagined. Her life has now moved from Bethlehem to a dirty manger on a journey to Egypt. A journey where there are no rest stops, no hotels so restroom facilities for anyone is not pleasant; can’t imagine a pregnant woman. There are some glorious moments of angels, shepherds in the field and Magi with gifts but that did not erase what it was like from day to day trying to care for an infant in a distant land with a husband who had to find work each day. They did not become rich because Jesus was given to them. They did not become powerful. They had to move from one place to another, brave the winter, bury her husband (now a single mother with several children) and watch her oldest son wrongfully accused and nailed to a cross. At the cross she needed a home that Christ provided through John. How could they endure all of this and Mary and her son eventually accept Him as the Christ; her Savior (Acts 2:14)?
Christmas was about purpose and it should remain that way. It is about Immanuel; God being with us. It was therefore honorable not just stressful. As a result of the resurrection He is permanently with us through the ministry of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16). The world cannot say Christ was not born. It is an event in space and time, historical and factual. The only debate that is left is the resurrection. If we lose the purpose the debate gets stronger for the doubters. So like Herod the world wants to steal it and call it the holidays (don’t do that for any other religion). Its’ about Santa Claus and reindeers. It is about shopping and eating not worship like the shepherds and Magi. Just like Herod they try to profit from Christ birth rather than be saved by His death and resurrection.
What does Christmas mean to you?