The Point of Christmas

     I love Christmas.  The music, the food, the times with family and of course the gifts.  Many feel the same, I recently read that as many as two million people visit the little town of Bethlehem every year (Joy To The World, Scott Hahn, 1).  There is so much to enjoy about the season, the generosity it spawns and even the busyness is captivating.  But in the midst of all the hustle and bustle please do not miss the point—the person of Jesus.  Last Sunday I went to the Design Alaska Holiday Concert up at UAF and was moved by the beauty of the music.  I literally stood with tears streaming down my face as it concluded with Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus from his famous work Messiah.  This profound work celebrates Jesus Christ, proclaiming His divine kingship.
      Christmas is a remarkable true story.  An oppressed people wait centuries for a Messiah.  The Jewish Scriptures predicted a miraculous virgin birth, a descendent of King David, a birth in Bethlehem.  Jesus Christ fulfilled these and many more.  The Eternal God the Son left His throne of glory and privilege in heaven to go on the greatest rescue mission of all.  For a time, He set aside the prerogatives of deity to live life on our terms, fully human so he could save us.  Mankind, despite being made in the image of God, had rebelled against divine authority and broken creation and themselves.  We see this sinful brokenness when we watch the news and even when we look at our own relationships.  On our own, we can never be with our Holy Creator in intimate relationship.  But God did not leave us in that dark place.  He sent his one and only Son to live a sinless life, and offer that life as a sacrifice on a criminal’s cross to satisfy His justice and righteousness so that we can be forgiven and made part of his family again.   Jesus predicted his own death and that he would walk out of his own grave.  Shockingly both happened.  As his early followers, who were not that impressive, experienced His resurrection; they were transformed and the world was forever changed. 
     When I went to Bethlehem many years ago, there was a feature of the Church of the Nativity that stands out in my memory.  The doorway was intentionally very short.  To enter one must stoop or bow.   It is appropriate to be reminded physically what must happen spiritually if we are truly going to understand and fully celebrate Christmas.   This time of year we celebrate Jesus as a baby, just never forget He is the baby who is also THE Divine King.   It is often said, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” He is the King without equal, God in the flesh and the Savior of all who will respond.  Please do not “celebrate Christmas” but miss the point.  Focus on Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Pastor Derek Dickinson
Journey Christian Church