Happy birthday!

It’s your special day. A party is thrown in your honor. Your family and friends are all there. The music is playing. The food is delicious. The atmosphere is festive.

But wait! If this is such a wonderful party, why are you sitting in the corner by yourself? Why is your countenance so sad? Why are you not enjoying yourself?

Oh, I get it. It’s your party. But no one is paying you any attention. No one brought you a card or gift. There is no birthday cake. The music is playing, but there is no birthday song. Everyone is having such a good time that the guest of honor has been forgotten. What a shame!

I doubt that has ever happened to you. But it happens to the Lord Jesus around this time every year. Christmas is the biggest holiday of the year. Even non-Christians get excited about it. There is music, food, decoration, gifts, and parties. It’s a great celebration. But Jesus Christ is often left out.

Luke 2 records how the boy Jesus was left behind when his family headed home from one of the Jewish holy feasts. His parents assumed Jesus was somewhere in the caravan. He was not. The twelve-year-old Messiah-King was still in the temple in Jerusalem, while they were halfway home to Nazareth.

Unfortunately, the Lord continues to be left behind during the Advent season.

The Christmas season reminds us of the importance of family. It encourages us to give to others. And it invokes a sense of celebration. These are good things. But the materialistic culture we live in has taken advantage of these good things and shifted the focus away from Christ.

We who follow Christ are not immune to this corruption. It is easy, dare I say even natural, for us to be squeezed into the mold of the world’s false value system during Christmas. But we must resist this temptation and do whatever it takes to remember Christ.

Christmas is about the Incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ. God created humankind to glorify him and to enjoy him forever. But Adam and Eve chose to rebel against God to live on their own terms. The Bible calls this sin. Every person born after the Fall comes into the world with a sin nature that is prone to rebellion against God. Our spiritual rebellion puts us on a collision course with divine and eternal judgment.

But God, who is characterized by holy-love, chose to redeem us. The Father carried out this redemptive plan by becoming one of us. God sent his Son into the world to live a perfect life that we could never life and to die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins.

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ who came into the world to be our all-sufficient Prophet, Priest, and King. His blood and righteousness saves all who come to God through him in faith. What can be more important than this good news?

As you are planning gifts and parties and vacations this month, I urge you to remember Christ. Intentionally strategize ways to include Christ in your holiday traditions. Treasure Christ during this Christmas season with your family, as you exchange gifts, and in your celebrations.

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” – 2 Corinthians 8:9

This is what God did for us in Christ. This is the real meaning of Christmas!

“Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” – 2 Corinthians 9:15