Stephen Caswell © 2001
Back in A.D. 274 an emperor of the Old Roman world chose December 25 as the birthday of the unconquered sun. He recognized that at this midwinter date it reaches its lowest point in the Southern sky and begins its gradual movement northward again. The annual rebirth of nature was closely linked to the Romans’ new year and planting season. Houses were decorated with greenery and candles, and presents were given to children and the poor. In time, Christians made this a holy day of their own. By A.D. 336, the church had decided that all believers should celebrate the birthday of the Lord Jesus, the Son of righteousness on December 25.
What makes Christmas special?
Ÿ To some folk its all the drinking and feasting. Christmas is the time to really celebrate. They enjoy all the parties with their good food and revelry.
Ÿ To others Christmas is special because of who you share it with. Christmas is a family time. Christmas is one of those few days that comes each year when we can get together with those that are dear to us and share unrushed time. It’s a time of making special memories and sharing with our love ones.
Ÿ To many Christmas is special because you give and recieve gifts. The excitement of unwrapping the gifts and finding out what you have received. Children find it special for this reason. The thought and care that goes into each expresses our deep love for the other. When you receive something that you need it brings deep joy.
What makes Christmas special to you? Is it one or all of these reasons? Or does something deeper than this make Christmas special to you?
For Christians, Christmas should be special because we remember the birth of our Savior. But, how does Jesus Christ relate to our Christmas traditions? He’s the reason for the season.
Ÿ Jesus Christ is God’s gift to man. 2 Corinthians 9:15: Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! God gave us Jesus Christ to meet our deepest need. We need life, eternal life. Only Jesus Christ can give this.
Ÿ God’s gift that perfectly meets our need shows. It how much He loves us. John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. God’s gift brings joy, peace, and life eternal.
Ÿ When we receive God’s gift to man, Jesus Christ, He makes us part of His family. Ephesians 1:3-6: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.
I trust that the thing that makes Christmas special to you this year will be Jesus Christ. Truly, Jesus is the reason for the season.