Christmas is one of the biggest holidays of the year, and for good reason. However, the “reason for the season” has begun to get lost amidst all of our traditions and “stuff.” You may be wondering, is Christmas really that important?
Why is Christmas important? Christmas is important because it is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the Son of God who came to redeem all mankind and call them to himself. On that day, God sent his Son to become a man on earth in order that one day he would become the payment for the sins of the world, past, present, and future. Christmas is a day of remembrance and worship.
Christmas is an important day of worship and remembrance, but, what does that look like? In this post we will talk about why the birth of Christ was so significant, and how you can integrate that into your holiday season so that it doesn’t get lost in all the traditions.
1. Remember… Christ was Born!
The reason that Christmas exists at all is because, 2,000 years ago, a child was born. The Son of God. The messiah that had been prophesied for generations.
Out of love for mankind, God sent his Son to earth, knowing what lie ahead of him. Jesus’s birth was the biggest step in God’s plan of redemption. On Christmas, we get to celebrate that beginning, knowing what is to come.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.John 3:16-17
2. Remember… God’s Promise Was Fulfilled!
God’s plan for redemption did not begin with Jesus. His plan had been in effect since The Fall, 2,000 years prior. His plan really begins to take shape, however, with Abraham.
In Genesis 12, God makes a covenant with Abraham promising that he would make his [Abraham’s] name great, that he would be a father to many nations, and that he would bless him so that he could be a blessing to others.
Jesus was the fulfillment of that promise!
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”Genesis 12:1-3 ESV
By sending Jesus, who was a descendent of Abraham, to earth, he fulfilled his promise that all nations, Jew or Gentile, would be blessed. Blessed by the grace of God for the forgiveness of sins.
The children of Abraham are not necessarily his biological descendants but his descendants in the faith. A father of many nations!
And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.Genesis 15:6 ESV
3. Remember… His Future!
It is near impossible to fully understand the importance of Christmas until you recognize what Jesus came to accomplish.
The purpose of Jesus’ birth was to live a blameless life, and, one day lay it down, taking upon himself the burden of sin so that we could be saved. His birth prepared the way for his death, and the redemption of all mankind.
4. Remember… His Generosity!
The reason we give gifts at Christmas time is because of the gift that Christ first gave us. One of the ways that we can do this is by caring for others. Christ gave generously and by giving generously to the less fortunate we can reflect him in our lives.
So maybe begin a new tradition this year and find a way to serve others with friends or family.
5. Remember… Slow Down!
Over the years, Christmas has been turned into a bustling holiday packed full of lights, presents, Christmas trees, and plans. It is easy to get caught up in all these things which, aren’t inherently bad.
However, it is important to take the time to slow down. Don’t get so carried away with all the “traditions” that you lose the meaning of what you are celebrating.
6. Remember… Traditions!
Unfortunately in this day and age, Christmas has become a consumerist holiday more focused on “stuff” than on Christ. It has become an opportunity to be greedy rather than generous. It has become everything that it was not intended to be.
Many of us have traditions that we follow each year at Christmas, and this by itself is not an inherently bad thing. We can still hang lights and put up Christmas trees, watch Christmas movies and listen to Christmas songs, bake cookies, and exchange gifts.
The problem happens when in all of those things, we lose sight of why we are celebrating. Christmas is important because of Jesus, and only Jesus. And unless we can see Christ in our Christmas, it isn’t really Christmas at all.
So hang lights, give gifts, and make cookies. They are all wonderful things! But remember that we give because Christ first gave, we hang lights because he was a light in dark places, we put up a tree in memory of what he came to accomplish, and sing songs of worship unto His glorious name.
7. Remember… Family Time!
For many people, this is one of the best parts of the Christmas season. Christmas brings families together, perhaps from far away, and provides a time to connect.
Enjoy that, take the time to connect, but remember to keep Christ in the center. Never forget what brought you together in the first place.
Celebrate Christ with your family. Thank God for this special time where you can connect with your family.
8. Remember… The Whole Point!
Christmas is a day of remembrance. A day to commemorate the gift of God’s Son, who walked on this earth knowing what was ahead of him, yet he persevered. Don’t ever allow yourself to lose sight of that.
Talk about the Christmas story with your family and friends. Go to church and be with the body of Christ. Meditate on the account of his birth, and pray to God, thanking him for his sacrifice.
9. Remember… Worship!
At the end of the day, we are called to worship. Make that your goal this Christmas. Take your eyes off of the things of this world and look to heaven. Make him your focus in everything you do this season. Live your life in a posture of worship and give glory to the one who gave the gift no one else could. Purifying grace.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,Psalm 63:3-4 ESV
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
The Christmas Story in Scripture
One of the traditions that was a blessing for me and my family growing up was reading the Christmas story together first thing Christmas morning. If you have never done this, maybe give it a try this year. It helps keep the focus where it belongs and reminds us that Christmas wouldn’t exist without Christ.
You can find several accounts of the Christmas story in the Bible including Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2. You may also want to reflect on God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 12 that was fulfilled in the life of Jesus.
But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.-Galatians 4:4-5