The Meaning of Christmas
Christmas is one of the most recognized holidays in Euro-American traditions and the central event celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
When the turkey has been eaten and thanks has been given, you know Christmas is just around the corner. Parents begin considering space for visiting family, gift giving, reindeer games and stories to be shared with loved ones. But it is important to keep Christmas ‘commercialism’ in check when we reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.
Christmas is a time of spiritual celebration and an important foundation of the Christian faith. It’s when Christians celebrate God’s love for the world through the birth of the Christ child: Jesus. The Bible tells of Jesus’ birth hundreds of years before he was born in Bethlehem and went on to fulfill many prophecies.
The Christmas Story in the Bible
The Christmas story is recorded in (Luke 2:4-19)
"So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’
“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.’
“When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’ So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." (Luke 2:4-29)
True Meaning of Christmas: Celebrating the Savior
Jesus was born in order to pay the price for the things we have done wrong: sin. God sent his only son to be the atonement for all our sins so that we would not be separated from God. Without Jesus, we would all die for our sins. We inherited our sinful nature from the first human beings God created, Adam and Eve. While being fully God and yet fully man, Jesus came into the world as an infant to save us all.
In Christmas tradition, we share gifts with loved ones as a symbolic gesture remembering that God sent us the most precious gift: his only Son. The bible also states three Wisemen visited Jesus and brought gifts as well.
Although people worldwide celebrate Christ’s birth on December 25th, it was likely that he was born on a different month and date. The church in the 4th century chose December 25th as it coordinated with the Solstice on the Roman Calendar.
For Christians, the true meaning of Christmas is the celebration of the Savior, Jesus Christ. We know that through belief in Christ we are daughters and sons of God. Heaven will one day be our home.
I wish God’s love to be bestowed on my many friends, colleagues and family members. May the love of Christ fill your home with countless blessings. Merry Christmas!