More Than a Baby
That time of year is upon us again. The time of the hustle and bustle, watching the traditional movies, and spending time with family that you see once or twice a year. Why do we do this? Why do we celebrate Christmas? It's crazy to think that we, in 2017 celebrate a holiday that centers around a baby being born in Bethlehem, a small Jewish town, over 2000 years ago. Yet here we are, celebrating again.
It's crazy until you stop and think about what actually happened on that birthday. God became a baby. The Creator God of the universe stepped into humanity to live with us, to share with us, but ultimately to live for us and to die for us.
The nation of Israel was under the subjection of the Roman government. Yahweh, the God the Jews worshipped, had been silent for 400 years. But before He went silent, Yahweh made some extraordinary promises and the people waited in eager expectation for these promises to be fulfilled. God promised to dwell among His people, to come suddenly to His Temple, to save His people, to enter into a new covenant with them, to love them and pursue them. The list of promises goes on and on but the point is that God, Yahweh, promised to shake the universe.
An amazing thing about the way that He did shake the universe was that He came to earth in an unexpected way, through the womb of a young virgin named Mary, in a small town, without the fanfare and parties that happen when a king is born.
As Jesus grew, many people expected Him to save them from Roman oppression, from the struggles of this life. But Jesus came to give so much more than temporary relief. Jesus came that we might have life abundant, but that abundance is not in the material ways that we think and hope. The abundance that He provides is eternal freedom to know and worship Him, to be forgiven and reconciled back to Him.
We celebrate Christmas in 2017 because the significance of Jesus's birth has not diminished in over 2000 years. His birth is just as amazing today as it was on that amazing night. We celebrate Christmas because God loves us. We give gifts because He gave the ultimate gift to us, Jesus.