Obviously, this is not a Charles Spurgeon sermon. But my lovely wife gave me this idea, to record the passages of Scripture commonly read as part of “the Christmas story.” And there is so much here that we can reflect on as we gather with family to celebrate, as Linus would say, “what Christmas is all about.” Look at the great mercy shown in God’s actions by sending His Son. Look at the great glory of the heavens torn open to reveal the angels singing the praises of God in the act of the incarnation. Look at the people driven to worship by the leading of the Holy Spirit at the coming of a mere child. And look at how God makes His grace known to His people through this incredible outpouring of His love in the sending of His Son.
Christmas is probably one of my favorite times of year, but it is also a severely confusing time in our culture. We as a culture celebrate a holiday explicitly named after Christ, and yet when you look at what most people, even Christians, think about when Christmas comes, it seems that what we have in our minds is a celebration of a baby being born in a barn one night. We should not be so light in our remembrance of this, but we should rejoice in it! God the Son humbled Himself to the point of entering creation, becoming man–humility beyond imagination! He was born and lived most humbly to be sure, but certainly the text does not stop with that implication. It is only the beginning: there is so much worship each step of the way, from the recognition by the unborn John the Baptist of the unborn Jesus, to the coming of the angels and the shepherds’ report of them, to the prophetic words of two people who had lived for so long seeking only to know the coming of the promised one. And even in seeing Him, at the time I don’t know if they fully understood Who they beheld. I can only imagine the worship they would have known had they heard the words of Paul decades later to the Colossians:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.–Colossians 1:15-20
Let us take this Christmas and remember what this season really is all about. It’s not just a time for family and vacations, it’s not just a time for giving and receiving, and it’s not just a time where we get warm fuzzies over the birth of a baby. It is a time to remember the most amazing act in the history of the world, the incarnation of God, to serve as the perfect sacrifice, and the destroyer of death. And that, my friends, is what Christmas is all about.
If you’ve liked the music from the last few episodes, please visit the Bandcamp page for my church’s band, The Loverlies, for links to these and more songs.