As I sit here, pondering my commercialized Christmas, I wonder how many other people even realize what Christmas is truly about? If I’m completely honest with myself, I’ll admit that I love all the decorations, the cookies, the presents. Our lives have trained us to appreciate these things. But really, in the beginning, when Jesus was born, when all of this started, Mary and Joseph were forced to stay in a manger. Not in a hotel, not with a family who had extra room. Not with nice ‘plush’ surroundings (keep in mind the timeframe, their high standards are likely much lower than our lowest standards). But Jesus, our Savior, was born in a stable. Amongst animals. The man who came to save us. Sinking in yet?
His earthly parents didn’t require an immaculate, festively trimmed home to stay in. They didn’t have a feast, not like our present day feasts anyhow. Presents were simple. Not a ton of overly-expensive gifts for each person.
Did they even celebrate birthdays back then? If they did, certainly not like we do. But was Jesus even treated on his birthday? Was he even appreciated for his birth?
Back then, no. Not in the way he is now. But then, too, is he really appreciated now?
When I ponder what Christmas is REALLY about, I can’t help but think of Easter too. And I can’t help but think about how, this isn’t necessarily a joyful and jolly time like we have commercialized it to be. It’s about a Father, who sent His son, His ONLY son, to our earth; for the sole purpose of him being murdered, because of us and all of our misgivings.
It’s one thing to say that, but to really, seriously think about it is another.
Consider your own children. Maybe you don’t have children, but have fur babies. Or maybe you don’t have fur babies either, but have nieces and nephews who you would give your life for, if asked. We all have someone (whether on two legs, or 4) who we care deeply about. Imagine that ‘someone’ was given to you, with a contingency. That, sure you can love them and care for them, and name them, give your life to them, etc. But, one day they were going to be taken from you, brutally murdered in front of you, for no reason other than being a good person who loves God?
That’s what God did. For us. He knew what He would call His son to do, even before Mary had immaculately conceived him. And yet, He did it for us.
Our God loves us THAT much that He gave His son to us, knowing what would happen.
So, as you’re opening presents, as you’re eating the wonderful feast, as you’re spending time with family and friends in your warm home, consider why you are here. And how valuable your life is to God. He didn’t make a mistake in creating us, why not give back to Him this year, too? Remember to thank Him for His sacrifice, and think about how difficult a sacrifice that would be, if it was a choice you had had to make.