What is Christmas to you? To many folks, it is the biggest holiday of the year.--A time when they don't have to go to work or go to school and are able to take their "Christmas vacation"!
But of course, to a lot of people, Christmas is a lot of work! It's often a very busy and hurried time of rushing around from store to store and shop to shop, competing with multitudes of other shoppers who are all madly trying to buy gifts for all of their relatives, friends, acquaintances etc.!
Christmas is also a sentimental time to many folks, when they tend to dream about the "White Christmases" of yesteryear. Often, Christmas day itself gets sort of lost in the days and weeks surrounding it. In fact, many Christmas cards and decorations simply state "Season's Greetings", with no mention of Christmas at all! Christmas trees, decorative and colourful lights, mistletoe, boughs of holly, snowmen, jingle bells, candy canes etc. are all a part of this festive so-called "Christmas season".
This sentimental, almost fairy tale-like idea of Christmas is carried to the extreme in the story that many parents tell their young children about a jolly old man with a long white beard named Santa Claus, who supposedly flies through the sky in his gift-laden sleigh which is pulled by flying reindeer! So of course, these young children look forward to Christmas as the time when Santa will come to town and hopefully give them the new toys, gifts and candy they want!
It seems that many folks have just about completely forgotten and eliminated the true meaning of Christmas entirely! In a lot of places they no longer even call it Christmas, but "X-mas", and Christ is literally crossed out of Christmas! In many big cities all you see are signs of "Xmas Sale! Xmas Shopping! Merry Xmas!--Xmas! Xmas! Xmas!"
But there's so much more to Christmas than trees and decorations and Santa Claus and presents and all the make-believe and materialism associated with it today! If these distractions, which drown out and bury the true meaning and spirit of Christmas are brushed aside, then the real beauty and wonder of Christmas can be realised at last!--For Christmas is celebrating the day that God sent His Love into the World, in the form of a tiny, weak and helpless Baby, over 2,000 years ago!
He was born to a simple, humble teenage girl who miraculously conceived, having never slept with any man! In fact, the news of her pregnancy was so shocking that when the man whom she was going to marry learned about it, he promptly decided to break the engagement and call off the wedding!--Until a powerful Heavenly Being intervened and convinced him to stay with her, and rear and protect this very special Child that she was carrying!
Although the Child was ordained to be a King--in fact the King of kings--He was not born in a plush palace with famous and glorious members of the court in attendance and the honour and praise of the World. Instead, He was born on the dirty floor of a barn, amidst the cattle and the asses, wrapped in rags and laid to rest in the animal's feedtrough!
And though his birth brought no great fanfare or official recognition from the institutions and governments of man, that night on a nearby hillside, a motley crew of poor shepherds were awestruck as a brilliant light burst upon them from the starry sky and an host of angels filled the night with their Heavenly declaration and song: "Glory to God in the highest! Peace on Earth to men of good will! For unto you this day is born a Saviour, Christ the Lord!" ( Luke 2:8-14 )
Far away in the East, another herald appeared in the Heavens: A bright new Star caught the attention of certain astrologers who understood its significance and followed it, crossing thousands of miles of desert, as it led them to the exact location of the young Child in the little town of Bethlehem, where they honoured Him with their gifts.
His earthly father was a carpenter, a humble hewer of wood with whom He lived and laboured, conforming to our human ways of life, custom, language and living, that He might understand and love us better. He saw Mankind's suffering and had great compassion on them, longing to not only heal their sick and broken bodies, but also to save their souls, their immortal spirits!
When He began His life's work, He went about everywhere doing good.--Helping people, loving children, healing heartaches, strengthening tired bodies, saving all whom He could. He not only preached His message, but He lived it among them as one of them. He not only ministered to their spiritual needs, but He spent a great deal of time ministering to their physical and material needs, miraculously healing them when they were sick, feeding them when they were hungry and sharing His life and His love!
He was so simple and His religion was so simple that He said that you must become as a little child to receive it! Jesus didn't say to go to temples, mosques or church buildings. In fact, He didn't preach any complicated ceremonies or difficult religious rules.--He just preached Love and showed Love, as He tried to lead God's children into the True Kingdom of God, whose only laws are to "love the Lord with all thy heart" and "love thy neighbour as thyself". ( Matthew 22:37-39 )
He made Himself of no reputation, but was a friend and companion of drunks, prostitutes and sinners, the outcasts and downtrodden of society! He even told them that they would enter the Kingdom of Heaven before the so-called "good" people, the self-righteous religionists who rejected Him!
As His message of Love spread and His followers multiplied, the established religion and its jealous leaders realised what a threat this formerly unknown carpenter had become to them! They finally had Him arrested and brought to trial on false charges of sedition and subversion. And though the governor found Jesus innocent, he was pressured and persuaded by these powerful religionists to execute Him! But three days after His lifeless body was laid to rest in a cold tomb, He rose from the dead, the Victor over death and Hell forever!
This Man, Jesus Christ, is not merely a prophet, philosopher, teacher, rabbi or guru!--He is the Son of God! God, the Great Creator of the Universe, is a Spirit and is all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere and in everything--far beyond our limited human comprehension! So He sent Jesus, in the form of a man, to show us what He Himself is like and to bring us to Himself. And although many great teachers have spoken and taught about love and about God, Jesus is Love and He is God!--The only One Who died for the sins of the World and rose from the dead! He's in a class all by Himself, because He's the only Saviour! He said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life!--No man cometh unto the Father but by Me!" ( John 14:6 )
Would you like to find out and know beyond a shadow of a doubt if Jesus Christ really is the Son of God, the way of Salvation?--You can! All you have to do is try Him! Simply humble yourself and sincerely pray and ask Him to come into your heart, forgive you for all your sins and fill your life with His Love and peace!
He's real and He loves you!--So much so that He died in your place and suffered for your sins so that you wouldn't have to!--If you'll just receive Him and His free gift of Eternal Life! The Bible says, "God so loved the World (you and me), that He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus), that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life!" ( John 3:16 )
Have you received the original Christmas Gift, God's Gift of Love to you? His name is Jesus, and you can have Him and all He has to give, which is everything, right now, if you'll simply pray this little prayer and ask Him to come into your heart: "Dear Jesus, I believe that You are the Son of God and that You died for me. Please forgive me for all my sins. Jesus, please come into my heart and give me Your free gift of Eternal Life! In Jesus' name I ask. Amen!"
He can turn your empty "Merry Xmas" into a truly joyous Christmas!--And your "Happy New Year" wishes into Happy New life realities! So receive, love and live for Him now!--Then you can enjoy Him and Heaven forever!
God bless you and make you a blessing with His Love!--If you'd like to find out more about His Love, read the beautiful story of Jesus in the Gospels of the Bible. Then share God's Love with your friends and loved ones by telling them about Jesus!