The Meaning behind Christmas

For those of you who were following me when I was blogging under my alter ego you’ll know that over successive years I wrote several posts about struggling to embrace Easter or Christmas.

As a Christian I intellectually understand the spiritual significance of the events, but I couldn’t enjoy the festive periods as much as those around me seemed to. Perhaps I was jaded by the commercialism which respects nothing but the dollar. Maybe I just fell on my head too many times growing up… (it did happen an awful lot).

In recent years I’ve been pleased to confess that I’ve got Easter, and have had a growing appreciation for Christmas. A few days ago I sat down to reflect on Christmas, and jotted down a few faith-based thoughts.

  • Christmas was the beginning of the time when God started to write out the adoption papers for all those who would believe in Him, past, present and future.

    14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.[f] And by him we cry, “Abba,[g] Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. (Romans 8:14-17)

  • 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. (John 1:12-13)

  • If Jesus had never come to earth, he couldn’t take on himself a punishment that we were destined to receive.

    23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:23, 24)

    15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. (2 Corinthians 5:15)

  • It was the D-day of sin; the start of the defeat of the enemy of mankind.
  • God used unlikely, unskilled individuals because they were willing to be used. There was nothing particularly special about Mary or Joseph, except for their humility and subsequent obedience.
  • How God/heaven feels about Christmas is evident in his proclamation to the shepherds.

    13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

    14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
        and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:13-14)

    If that’s how God feels about Christmas, I think I need to be less grinch and focus more on the true meaning of Christmas. I haven’t quite got it yet, but I’m getting close.

    I wish you all have a great Christmas – focusing on what is important and ignoring what is not.

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2 thoughts on “The Meaning behind Christmas

  1. Last Christmas as I was getting the car packed and the family ready to spend the week in Port Elliot my struggle was not with Christmas but with the tree. I had a 1 hour window to get to the agent in Victor Harbour to pick up the keys for the holiday house. I hadn’t put the Christmas tree in the car and was emphatically told by my tribe if I didn’t bring it Christmas would be ruined. I didn’t have time to carefully deconstruct the tree, instead it unceremoniously was thrown in the boot. It made my have a good think about the meaning of the tree and why it was such a big part of Christmas. After a little research I wrote these words…..Lost in translation – the roots go deep that tree in your home. Our ancient northern brothers and sisters worshiping this evergreen fir. Gathering branches, never destroying the life enduring through the long dark winter. Outside candlelit trees shining a light for loved ones lost and to shoo away spirits particularly active during those short dark days. Much much later missionaries used this custom to spread their word adding apples to the trees to spin their tale. Later trees were cut from the commons and brought inside when our kin had to hide their worship to mother earth and rebirth of the sun. North and south, ancient and now the tree marks the end of the year and a time for renewal.

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    • An interesting history lesson! Personally that is part of why I don’t like this time of year… the Western world (with its commercialisation) tells us “this is Christmas” when in reality the only part of Christmas that matters is the little baby born in a stable.

      Sure, giving gifts *might* remind us of the gift we were given…or it could distract us into a selfish attitude what will I get or cause a nervous fear of what can I get.

      Actually it’s interesting: commonly we give gifts to friends and family, and yet the Bible tells us to bless those who aren’t able to bless us in return (being selfless and not selective).

      The Bible also tells us not to be gluttons or drunkards…and what does Western Christmas say about Christmas?

      Interesting…

      Thanks for your comment, you certainly caused some ripples of thought!

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