Wednesday, December 25, 2019

The True Meaning of Christmas

The world we live in is changing faster than most people can keep up.  Our phones have become computers, we can tell virtual assistants to turn the lights on, thermostats can adjust the temperature by the hour and Amazon seems to know what we want before we do.  People constantly walk around for extended periods of time without seeing anything but their telephone and a lot of people had rather send someone a text than talk to them in person.  Christmas has turned into a celebration of lights, toys, malls, shopping, gifts, and parties.  Who cares about the true meaning of Christmas?  Does it really matter at this point?

I cannot imagine what Mary was going through over 2000 years ago.  She had to be worried. She had to have a LOT of questions.  And what was Joseph thinking taking her as his wife?  They had to leave their own town and travel to the small village of Bethlehem and didn’t even have a room for the night.  They had to stay in a stable with a bunch of animals.  Are we really to believe that the Son of God was actually born on the ground… a barn….among animals?  Well, I don’t know about you, but that is exactly what I believe.

I don’t know why the circumstances existed for the birth of our Savior to happen the way it did, but I certainly believe it.  Jesus was not born into privilege, in a sanitary environment with a trained medical staff.  He was born as any other common baby would be.  But the world knew.  The wise men knew and traveled great distances to honor him.  Mary and Joseph knew and had been visited by angels to let them know that everything would be ok.  A star appeared to indicate that this birth was nothing less than miraculous.  The baby in the manger eventually became the King on the cross.

I have grown up my entire life hearing stories from the Bible.  I had a youth minister named Philip Smith that I became good friends with as I grew older.  He always offered good advice and gave me encouragement every time I saw him.  I’ve known some great preachers in my life that have delivered some terrific sermons on Sundays. I’ve been surrounded by people of faith that have always stressed the importance of prayer.  But my faith is not the result of the people around me or their beliefs.  That certainly gave me exposure to the Bible, church and Christianity.  But, the reason for my faith is because of something that’s inside me.   I’ve always had an inner feeling that has removed all doubt in my faith in Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior.  Through good times, hard times, happy times, stressful times, and sad times, my faith has stayed the same.  I don’t know why many things happen and I don’t like bad things to happen at all.  But I believe there is a reason. 

               We all have so much to be grateful for.  We live in a free country where we have access to anything we need.  We have the freedom to do whatever we want, visit family and friends, access to exceptional medical treatment, provide for our families and live in comfortable conditions.  Christmas is always humbling when you consider people that are struggling in some way.  We all have challenges sooner or later.  That’s why I think its so important to spend quality time with family and friends during Christmas because you just never know when circumstances will change by the next year. 

               It’s amazing that the birth of a baby over 2,000 years ago saved all of us.  The simple answer to my first question is that we should ALL care about the true meaning of Christmas.  It’s been one of the most important aspects of my own life.  And the answer to my second question is that not only does the true meaning of Christmas matter, but it’s never been more important than it is to the world we live in today.  

                I wish you all a Merry Christmas and I hope you have some time to relax, rest and spend time with the ones you love.