I realize that, it being just a couple of weeks until Christmas, the internet is flooded with sweet sentiments, adorable adornments, and funny family faux pas. In seeing the above image I’m sure the first thing that popped into your mind was; “Oh, another Christmas post talking about how Jesus is the reason for the season.” Am I right? OK- yes, you’re right, but not in the way you may be thinking. You see, more than likely if you’re reading this post, you at least somewhat believe in Christ and attempt to live your life in reflection of those beliefs.¬†Since I completely recognize my own sinful state… allow me to poke at you a bit in hopes that we will both have our eyes opened a little wider this Christmas season.
See that baby in the picture? While, granted, we all know this isn’t Jesus Himself, but merely an “actor”, imagine with me that it is Him. That sweet little one that we worship and adore, that the wise men sought out, and that a King was threatened by, that little innocent child was born to die. Those sweet eyes would behold the spiritual warfare that few of us could even imagine, those chubby hands would one day feel the insurmountable pain of thick nails driving through the flesh, that perfect forehead would be cut deeply into by a rudely mocking crown of wild thorns. I know it’s rough- I know it’s ugly- I know it’s extremely bothersome. Christmas is supposed to be a time of beauty and reflection of the love of God made real to us by the very Spirit of God becoming flesh and saving us all! Yet,¬†what is the Nativity without Calvary? What is the point of being all “caught-up” in the joy of Christmas without realizing that the reason it’s joyful to begin with is because of the overwhelming suffering and sacrifice of God made man?
Yes, I truly believe that God wants us to celebrate His coming and revel in the JOY that it brought! God isn’t a party-pooper! There were tons of times, in the Old Testament especially, where God SET UP festivals and celebrations in order to remind the people of His love, His blessings, and the fact that life is indeed a GIFT!¬†However, I believe Emily Dickinson (one of my favorite poets) said it best…
Success is counted sweetestBy those who ne’er succeed.To comprehend a nectarRequires sorest need.
So, Merry Christmas a thousand times over! You don’t have to feel melancholy¬†by the realization that THIS is the true meaning of Christmas- just realize that if you indeed desire to live a life that embodies the reality of Christ- you have to make the connection between the Nativity and Calvary. Praise God for the big picture and for our gift of celebrating His only begotten Son.
We celebrate Your precious birth, Lord Jesus! Thank You for not just the reminder that love took on humblest¬†form, but that love also paid the ultimate price- simply because You love us that much.