Christmas colors are everywhere. Even this little city is already teeming with the sounds and feels of Christmas. The big tree was adorned and lighted just recently. Schedules of Christmas parties were set. Reunions are just around the corner. Oh, but! We may have forgotten the very reason why we celebrate the season.
Let me just remind you of the real setting of the first Christmas. Caesar Augustus, the Roman emperor, decreed that all the world should be registered, each to his own hometown. So, Joseph and his wife Mary who was then carrying a child immaculately conceived by the Holy Spirit, came to Bethlehem to be registered. They rode on a humble donkey all the way from a faraway place, and when they tried to look for an inn, they couldn’t find any because the city was overcrowded. They had no choice but to stay in a smelly stable, a cave perhaps, full of dirty animals, and there the baby Jesus was born.
Why God the Father chose or allowed His only begotten Son Jesus to be born in a manger shows that we have a humble Savior, one who doesn’t long for or need the applause of men. But men couldn’t help but worship Him. The shepherds came to acknowledge His birth. The magi of far off East brought Him gifts fit for a king! Even angels appeared in the sky and sang, Glo-o-oria in Excelsis Deo! King Herod was threatened by Him. Jesus came to show real love to the world, a love that endures and even suffers. And those who come to Him couldn’t help but respond to His love.
The same Jesus, who lived and died on the cross, is the reason why we have Christmas. He was born to die for you and me. The star which guided the magi to cross deserts and countries in order to find Jesus is the very star that calls out to you and me now to come to Jesus, acknowledge Him, and worship the King of kings.
If our Christmas does not bring us closer to Jesus, then it is a wrong and meaningless celebration. We feel warm love this joyous season because Jesus gave us that love, that which should point back to Him. And if the affection we feel is only for our families and friends, for gifts and merrymaking, then it is an incomplete and temporary kind of affection. Let us go back to the real meaning of Christmas.
“My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name.” Luke 1:46-49