Dec 22, 2019
Scripture Reading: Luke 2
Almost all of the traditions which surround the Christmas season are rooted in non-Christian festivals of the past. The date of Christmas (December 25) was associated with a Roman celebration called Saturnalia. Evergreens were used as decorations because they represented enduring life. Gifts were exchanged within families and between friends. The Druids thought mistletoe possessed magical powers. The Saxons had a wintertime feast called Yule. The idea of Santa Claus comes from various European origins.
The only thing truly Christian about Christmas is Christ. Many people will say His name during this holiday time, but there is a wide range of differing opinions as to who He is. The Bible presents Jesus in the fullness of His humanity, in the feeding trough at His birth; in the fullness of His agony on the cross; and in the fullness of His divinity, at His triumphant return when He rides out of heaven on a white horse.
First, Christ was born in obscurity (Lk 2:1-7) and in this fact we see Him unspeakably humbling Himself. Second, Christ died in agony (Jn 19:17-19) and in this fact we see Him sacrificing Himself. Third, Christ will return in majesty (Rev 19:11-16) and in this fact we see Him being honored by God the Father.
The center of Christmas is the center of the universe … Jesus Christ. But it is not enough to simply echo His name. We must acknowledge His identity. And we can only do that on bended knee, filled with wonder, awe, and joy.