Keeping "Christ" in Christmas

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"But angels said to the shepherds: 'Don't be afraid! I bring you good news of great joy, which will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.' Suddenly, a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God saying, 'Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests!'" (Luke 2:10-14)

When I think of Christmas, I get the best case of butterflies in my stomach. The excitement builds each day we get closer to Christmas day. I love going to the shopping malls and picking out special gifts for everyone in my life. The wonderfully cheesy Hallmark movies are on 24-7. Whenever I hear Bing Crosby or Michael Buble's smooth voice over the radio, I can't help but belt out the familiar tune. I find myself spending a lot of time staring at our 9 foot tall tree, covered in warm white lights and shiny ornaments.It's very easy to get caught up in the thrill of a commercial Christmas.

It's very easy to obsess over gifts and trees and presents. It's very easy to forget what's actually important during Christmas.Two thousand years ago, a little tiny baby was born. This tiny baby was born to a very young couple. The baby's mama, Mary, was a virgin. God formed a tiny baby in her womb and she gave birth in a dark and damp barn, wraught with animals and hay. This tiny baby was born in a feeding trough, most likely surrounded by the foul smells of animal waste.This baby's name was Jesus. This baby was God's Son. This baby was an eternally perfect and all powerful being wrapped in rags. This newborn child was sent by His Father to do the one thing that man could never do.... save the world from their sins and death.While the world was eating, drinking and conversing, a tiny cry broke through the night. That tiny cry came from the Savior of the world, making His entrance into the world He came to save.Isaiah 9:6 tells us, "For unto us a child is born, for unto us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace..."

The rest of the world went on with their lives, not even realizing what had just happened. Not even realizing that a Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace had been born.That is what Christmas is all about, guys. Christmas is about celebrating the miraculous birth of Jesus. This Jesus, the promised Messiah, came to us in all humility and all of His love. In God's marvelous grace, He allowed His precious Son to be born into a sinful world and eventually, take our punishment upon Himself and make a way for relationship with us.I've been told numerous times this year, "Happy Holidays!" I make such an effort to tell everyone "Merry Christmas!" instead.

I know life is crazy during the Christmas season. I know there's lots to prepare for — lots of hosting responsibility. Lots of food to bake. Lots of presents to buy and wrap. Lots of events and so little time. But think about this: Jesus came down from His throne, wrapped Himself in humility and came to save you and I. Doesn't He deserve all of our love, praise and adoration?I'd like to close with a few things to consider this Christmas season...

  • What steps are you taking this Christmas to make room in your heart for Jesus? What practical changes can you make in your life to make Jesus the priority?

  • Are there any things in your life that you have placed more value in than Jesus?

  • How can this Christmas story change your life?

  • How can you be a walking example of Christ this season? How can we tell others about the true meaning of Christmas?

There's nothing wrong about the presents, the lights an the trees at Christmas. Those are fun things we get to enjoy! But never let it never take the place of baby Jesus. Let's quiet our hearts and spirits and allow the Christmas story to change our lives. May we never forget that Jesus has provided everything that we are given this Christmas. May we never forget to keep Christ in Christmas. A few of my favorite Christmas resources / studies...