As of right now, it’s Christmas day – for me at least. Most of the world has to wait a little longer.
I wanted to write something appropriate for today but my last few drafts haven’t come out the way I like. They either sound too preachy or too watered down. You’re free to believe whatever you please, but I think in an increasingly multicultural world it’s a good idea to understand holidays from their religious background and not just their commercial side.
Christians celebrate Christmas because it commemorates the day of Jesus birth into the world as a baby. The 25th of December is not the actual day of his birth, but it’s the day we celebrate. We can’t really talk about Christmas without also getting into Easter, but let’s start with the former.
Thousands of years ago, a baby was born… So what? Why have a whole religious festival about some baby? Babies are born all the time, it’s not special. But this baby was special because he was God’s promised Son, sent to Earth to live a blameless life, die and take the punishment for our sins to save us. This was Jesus, God become flesh and dwelling among us. He entered the world humbly, as a helpless baby, and grew up dealing with the same body and the same temptations as you and I. But he lived a perfect life. Then he was crucified. – this is why we have Good Friday. He was sealed in a tomb for three days until on the third day the tomb was discovered empty. Jesus had risen from the dead – this is the significance of Easter Sunday and in fact all of Christianity. If Jesus was not the Son of God and did not rise from the dead, then Christianity is pointless.
But if Jesus was the Son of God, and he died to save us from our sins and was raised back to life – then we have hope.
Sounds hard to believe right? When you’re dead, you’re dead. And hope? Hope for what?
It comes back to the question of who you believe Jesus is. A great place to start asking that question is Christmas time. Head along to a church service, find out more. You may not believe the things you hear, but I implore you to give it a chance. Research, explore, ask questions! There is a lot more to all of this than I could ever cover in one go, but I hope you will consider these questions: Who is Jesus? Why is he such a big deal that Christmas even exists? And what does any of that have to do with me? When you dig into these, you may be surprised at what you learn.
Have a safe Christmas, God bless.