There are people that go to church twice a year, Christmas and Easter. They think that’s the thing to do. On Christmas they go look at a manger scene and they say, “Hey, that Jesus guy was born today. That makes us feel good and now we’re good to go until Easter.” Then they go to church on Easter and they’re good to go until Christmas.
But if you think about it, we all have our Christmas routines. We go to Christmas Eve services, we light candles, and we sing carols. We sing all of our “Mary Did You Knows,” and our “Joy to the Worlds.” And we have manger scenes and all that stuff. I think it’s all good. It’s all real and part of the spiritual message and part of church history.
But seriously, why do we do all this? Why do we have manger scenes? Is a manger scene just something you put in your yard or on your stage when you do your Christmas Eve production? Or do you really think about what it means? Do we really understand the message?
We’re singing “Joy to the World,” but what’s the joy here? That Jesus came and then He died? Perhaps you believe that the Gospel happened after Jesus died because His death was the means of our salvation. Well, that’s part of the Gospel, but there’s more to the Good News than that. Jesus wasn’t born just to die, you know. The Gospel started with His birth on December 25th – if that’s the actual date – and we’re still living it. That’s Good News too. That’s Gospel truth! That’s joy that the world needs to know.
As I’ve been stewing on this concept of the life of Jesus, or the life of discipleship, I’m starting to see the Christmas message in a whole new light. Christmas day – the day the Good News was born into the world, is the day He started discipling people. Christmas is the day our new lifestyle started. At last, we understood the concept of life.
This understanding is true joy! We proclaim “Joy to the World” because now we understand why we have life. This was a significant moment in history when redemption began to leave its mark. Christmas is when it all started. Christmas is when it all happened. Two thousand years ago, or a little more than that, the Gospel came into the world and gave us the good news that judgments have been taken away. The Gospel gave us the good news that this man Jesus came down from heaven to walk this earth.
And in so doing He answered all questions and fulfilled all thoughts. Now we have a reason to live. Now we know why we live. Now we know how to bring joy to people. Now we know how to love unconditionally. This is the joy we proclaim! I’ll sing “Joy to the World” this year, and it won’t be routine!
Merry Christmas! See you Tuesday.