A year ago, my friend Chris sent me a Christmas email with a challenge, and we had a pretty interesting conversation about it. Then I told him I’d blog about it that year, but I never did, so here’s the one year overdue entry about what we talked about.
Interestingly, when we talk about the Christmas story, it usually ends with Jesus lying down on the manger, with the shepherds visiting him and then followed by the three wise men. After that, the Christmas story is “finished”, and we hardly even talk about why He came. What’s the real reason why He was born that night, to those parents, on that place? Why the angels sang and why the shepherds came and why the three wise men came to visit and bring him gifts. Yes, sure, they did all that because Jesus is God’s son, but again, why did Jesus come down here in the first place?
The answers to those questions do not really come until the Lenten season, where the real reason of God becoming man becomes clear (supposedly). It’s nice to remember those things during Easter, yes, and I remember saying that Easter is where the juicier story really is. Because that’s where the entire salvation history is shown, where God’s forgiveness can be really seen, and His power is demonstrated in its fullness.
Then I remember my usual greeting every Christmas: may we always remember the reason for the season. Yes, Jesus is the reason for the season, but why? What is so special about it, besides Him being the son of God? What is the real reason, anyway?
Chris’ email challenged me to remember that the story of Christmas does not end where we always end the story during Christmas. In fact, the Christmas story is just the start. Christmas is where God’s sacrifice started, by His sending His only son to a world laden with sin, to save the people who barely acknowledge Him. Unlike other people who are born to this earth to live, Jesus was born to die. For you. For me. For us.
Christmas is the start of His journey to save us, Jesus’ journey to the Cross. This where God gave us a concrete and human sign of His love. That is where the Christmas season gets its beauty, its magic.
This Christmas, let us remember and keep in our hearts the REAL reason for the season. :)
I leave you with a song that I finally made sense of during the email exchange with my friend. :) Enjoy and have a blessed Christmas Eve. :)