..The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1
On December 25 Christians around the world will gather to celebrate Jesus’ birth. Joyful carols, special liturgies, brightly wrapped gifts, festive foods characterize the day we call Christmas. But, why do we do all this? What is behind the day” Do we really know the reason for the season? Or is it just about presents and party?
The story is about the “Word that became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14) The Word was born in a stable, among the animals, to a mother named Mary. This is a story that can only be received by faith, therefore, it is often disputed and overlooked. John describes the Word as being God who came in the flesh to save all us sinners from the fear of death. And the Word was named Jesus.
Jesus was born to die, just as all of us are, but His death was a death unto life. However, this is a part of the story for another time. At this time, let us concentrate on the true meaning of Christmas. How can you and I wrap our finite minds around such an infinite happening? It is totally impossible unless one believes and they put that belief into action through faith.
In a manger bed of straw lies a beautiful baby boy who has ten fingers and ten toes just like any one of our babies. He lies there under the loving gaze of Mary, his mother and Joseph, the one whom God chose to be his earthly father. He is surrounded by the animals in a stable that had no light, however, glory shown all around as though someone had turned on the flood lights. The angels sang, the earth was still, warring stopped and peace had come. He lie there in the silence of pure love. That little baby, who lies in the straw, was God in the flesh.
May there be many more who come to believe this Christmas. For the real message of Christmas is found in believing that Jesus Christ was God, who was born in human flesh, to take away the sins of the world and release us from the fear of death. Now mind you, He did not come to abolish death, but only the fear of death. We are all born and we all die, but in dying we are brought to Eternal Life in which we live forever with Christ—if we believe.
Away in a manger, no crib for a bed, the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head. The stars in the sky looked down where he lay, the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.
The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes, but little Lord Jesus no crying he makes; I love thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky and stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.
Be near me, Lord Jesus I ask thee to stay close by me forever, and love me, I pray, bless all the dear children in thy tender care, and fit us for heaven to live with thee there.
Away in a Manger Words: Anon (Luke 2:7)
Music: James R Murray, 1887
United Methodist Hymnal, pg. 217
Dear Lord, I believe. My belief has transformed my life. Thank you for the indescribable gift of Christmas. In the precious name of Jesus, I pray. AMEN
Hebrews 2:14 John 1:14 Romans 8:3 I Timothy 1:10
(C) Rev. Betty A Beach-Connell 2018