What does Christmas mean to you? Over the years, I’ve heard a variety of answers to this question. For some, it’s all about family. For others, it signifies togetherness, joy, or peace. These are all good things, but if this is what Christmas is all about, there will be Christmases we don’t feel like celebrating. Maybe our family is dysfunctional, we’re missing loved ones who aren’t with us, or our circumstances don’t make us feel joyful or peaceful.
We know the Sunday school answer: Christmas is all about Jesus. But why celebrate the birth of a baby in a manger over two thousand years ago? The answer lies in what the Bible says about who Jesus is and what He came to do.
For the next three weeks, we’ll take a look at one of my favorite Christmas carols: “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”. While these lyrics are not inspired in the same way as Scripture, they help point us to Jesus and what He’s done for us as we celebrate His birth.
“Hark! the herald angels sing, ‘Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!’
Joyful all ye nations rise, join the triumph of the skies;
With angelic host proclaim, ‘Christ is born in Bethlehem!’
Hark! the herald angels sing, ‘Glory to the newborn King.'”
This carol describes the angels praising God because the newborn King was born in Bethlehem to reconcile God with sinners. We see this truth about Jesus in the words of an angel who appeared to Joseph before Jesus’s birth:
“‘Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us).” (Matthew 1:20b-23)
A baby born in a stable is an interesting story, but the Son of God coming to save sinners changes everything. We celebrate Jesus’s birth because He is the Messiah who came to reconcile us to God through His life, death, and resurrection for us.
No matter what you face this week, you have a reason to celebrate: the Messiah has come!Share
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