Luke 2:1-12 – “Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. 2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, 5 in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. 6 While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. 8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 But the angel said to them, ” Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” NASU
Back to our question, “How Do We Know When It’s Christmas?” It seems that the calendar, government, commercialism, people, and even religion are insufficient to truly answer that question. So where do we turn to find the answer? I am convinced that to truly KNOW WHEN we must first KNOW WHAT and WHY! We must view the celebration from Heaven’s point of view and in that we find the Reason and Cause for Celebration. I am talking about Christmas not the tradition of exchanging gifts, etc. but CHRISTMAS!
WHAT IS CHRISTMAS?
Is this just another of the many holidays recognized each year? Is it a time for both hassle and pleasure in giving and receiving gifts? It is a time for profit, merchandise, family gatherings, etc. What is Christmas? That is a worthy question I ask you to pursue with me.
Christmas is an Expression of God’s Love. The birth of Jesus was God’s gift to humanity. That child would grow up and perform the function of the Lamb Slain from the Foundation of the World the Sacrifice for the sin of mankind. The birth of Jesus revealed God’s incredible Love. Christmas is Giving. It originated with God in His gift to us, the first and best gift that could be given. But what are we to give? We are to give SELF both to God and to others. We are to give GIFTS, not just token or reciprocal presents out of necessity or image, but the gift of help, love, concern, consideration, and friendship. That is the Spirit of Christmas, LOVE, and GIVING. Not giving for the return or reciprocation but out of love. Christmas is Manifesting Love. 1 Corinthians 13 is a beautiful passage to read at this time of the year for it embodies what Christmas is all about. Love cares. Love acts according to ability, authority, and power. Love does not falter or fail and is forever faithful. GOD IS LOVE and He is the very center and foundation of CHRISTMAS which is LOVE.
Christmas is Living and living is a result of experience. When we combine love and giving flowing from a heart in which Christ Jesus resides we have CHRISTMAS IN OUR HEARTS! Christmas is Living in such a fashion as to demonstrate Christ’s love. Christmas is Living in such a fashion as to always point to the Messiah. Christmas is Living in such a manner as to prove that Christianity is real and works in practical application.
Christmas’ purpose is to give Hope to mankind. Christmas reveals the Hope of Access through Jesus. Christmas expresses the Hope of Heaven through God’s Love and Grace. Christmas declares the surety of God’s Promises. Without this miraculous event, the Advent, the Birth of Jesus which we identify as Christmas we would have no basis for hope but because He came, lived, died, and rose from the dead WE HAVE HOPE! We have CHRISTMAS!
WHEN IS CHRISTMAS?
From a legal, commercial, political, social, and even religious standpoint it is December 25th. From a Spiritual standpoint, it is Christmas when the Spirit of Christian Love pervades our hearts and finds release and is demonstrated in our lives. In truth, Christmas is Christ in us, Christ through us, and us in Christ! It was Christmas (spiritually speaking) when Peter and John came to the Gate Beautiful and healed the lame man. It was Christmas (spiritually speaking) when the woman at the well came to Jesus.
Christmas is in the Heart and its Spirit can and should last and find expression 365 days per year. IT CAN BE CHRISTMAS TODAY and IT CAN BE CHRISTMAS next July. Christmas is Christ in Us and Us in Christ!
MERRY CHRISTMAS and God bless you richly is my prayer and desire!