A Merry Christmas to all of you. I am writing this on Christmas morning, the house is quiet and that is best for me to put my thoughts on this "digital paper".
What does Christmas mean to you? Is it the rush and bustle of putting up the decorations, listening to Christmas music, buying the perfect presents, eating those cookies that you don't get to eat any other time of the year. Is it time with family, traditions long held and celebrated. Christmas to me is certainly all those things but it is so much more.
For me there is a basic meaning for Christmas and I bet you can guess what it is (well you will know if you know me). This is the time of year when I celebrate the birth of Jesus who is my Savior. The image of the tiny baby in the manger with Mary and Joseph, the Wisemen and the Shepards (with some sheep thrown in) is what we think about and that is the "reason for the season", the coming of God's perfect and holy son, in the form of a baby.
But please do not leave the story there at the manger. Don't celebrate "the reason for the season" and not finish the story. Yes, we celebrate Christmas because we celebrate the birth of our Savior but that isn't where the story ends. The "rest of the story" is that
Jesus who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross! (Philippians 2: 6-8)Hard to fathom that some one loved you and I that much that he would do this for us. The old saying "a life for a life" is absolutely correct. We couldn't pay the price that would be demanded for our sins, there is no way that we could EVER be perfect enough, keep all the commandments in the Bible, be good enough in our human form to be able to stand before a perfect and righteous God and say that we had "earned" the right to stay with Him in heaven. Yes, God is the god of love but he is also the god of justice and is perfect and cannot abide with sin. There had to be a perfect yet equal sacrifice that was FREELY given and that came in the person of Jesus. That Jesus
was pierced for our transgressions (sins), he was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)That is the true meaning of Christmas for me. Yes, it is the babe lying in a manger but it is also the Savior, on the cross, then risen from the dead and sitting at the right hand of the Father and waiting for us.
Jesus lived the life you should have lived. He died the death you should have died, so that you can have what he has. Joe Coffey, Senior Pastor Hudson Community ChapelMay you have a wonderful Christmas.