Yes, it is Christmas time, and as the song says, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. While it is true, all of us seem to find ourselves in more joyful spirits this time of year, do we truly understand why?
More than exterior décor
As I peruse the Christmas aisle of my favorite craft store, I can’t help but notice the impatience of a nearby shopper. She is a beautiful woman with two adorable kids in tow and a cart full of festive holiday décor and wrapping paper. I watch as her little boy maneuvers to his mother’s side and lovingly reaches out for her hand. The expression on his face when she quickly dismisses him without a glance in his direction is heart-wrenching. This woman and her family celebrate Christmas, but I wonder, does she understand the reason for the season?
 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”  All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:  “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:21-23 NIV
Jesus is the reason for the season
With all that we must do during the busy holiday season, it is crucial that we don’t forget why we celebrate Christmas. The infinite, unlimited God took on the limitations of humanity, so he could live and die for the salvation of all who would believe in him. Jesus means “the Lord saves.” Jesus came to earth to save us because we can’t save ourselves from sin and its consequences. No matter how good we are, we can’t eliminate the sinful nature present in all of us. Only Jesus can do that. Jesus didn’t come to help us save ourselves but to be our Savior from the power and penalty of sin.
Immanuel, God is with us
Jesus would fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah, for he would be Immanuel (“God is with us,” see Isaiah 7:14). Jesus was God in the flesh; thus, God was literally among us, “with us.” Through the Holy Spirit, Christ is present today in the life of every believer.
We steer where we stare
This Christmas let’s choose to focus our celebrations around God’s presence rather than presents. Let’s look to Him for our fulfillment and joy in life, never forgetting the reason we celebrate the Christmas season:
Our perfect and pure Savior allowed Himself to be broken so that a world of broken people like us could receive forgiveness and eternal life.
Sending peace, love, and happiness to all!