We live in a world filled with wonderful stories, fairy tales and fables. From mythology to mysticism and fantasy to fiction, the choice is abundant. It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of a story. We get enraptured with the characters and the adventure of it all. Then, we remember, it is just a story and nothing more.
My fear, is that many people treat Christmas exactly the same way. For a few short weeks of the year, we get excited about this amazing story of a baby born in a manger – the angels, the shepherds, the inn – all of it is almost intoxicating. The idea that the King of the Universe would be born alongside a donkey in a smelly stable, you can’t help but be captivated by it all.
During this season we put our guard down and delve into this story. Christmas comes and goes, and quickly many forget that this was not just some folk tale but rather the triumphant entrance of God into humanity to begin the process of salvation for all.
The story of Christmas doesn’t end with a mother swaddling her precious little one in a stable that cold night in Bethlehem. The story of Christmas continues for over 30 years and ends on a dark lonely hill where that same baby is hung on a cross.
The ultimate gift.
As He cried out “It is Finished” and was raised three days later – the greatest gift in the History of the world was revealed – salvation for all.
I love the the festivities of Christmas. The lights, the smells, the parties; I love it all. But, let’s not forget that it is not just a simple story about a baby in a manger. You cannot lump this tale in with the likes of “The Night before Christmas” and read it on December 24th in order check your box of “Christmas Tradition”. One of those is nothing more than a child’s tale while the other is the living, breathing answer to life’s greatest question.
This Christmas, let us all make a commitment to remember not just the birth of that little baby, but the full adventure He took from the lessons He taught to the willing sacrifice He gave. The true gift of Christmas was just that – Jesus gave you and I salvation – don’t miss that key point of the story.
Question: How do you stay focused on the Truth of Christmas?