As crazy as it is, Christmas is among us. Gifts are being purchased, trees are being decorated, lights are being hung, and cookies are being eaten. At the same time that all of these festivities are being enjoyed, the purpose of Christmas is sadly being overlooked. Christmas can easily become about gifts and Santa Clause. However, the only point of Christmas is the Gift that the holiday is named after. This Gift is better than anything you may have wrapped underneath your tree.
The truth is that if our holiday was named Giftmas or Santamas, we would be in big trouble. If we were to take Christ out of Christmas, we would simply be removing the best news the world has ever known. Christmas is to celebrate Jesus Christ coming from heaven to earth. Sometimes that flies right over our heads. Jesus, being fully God, came to take on human flesh. Why? To save His people. Let’s allow the angel who brought the news to the shepherds in the field in Luke 2 explain the Christmas message.
Two massive things were said in the two verses above. First, the angel described Jesus coming to earth as good news of great joy. The angel then said that a Savior was born. The moment that changed all of history had come. So, to summarize the angel’s message, Christmas is about good news of great joy from a Savior being born. Let’s examine both parts of this message.
Good News of Great Joy
If you have been in contact with any of our ministry content, you know that I am very passionate about joy in God. I believe the Bible teaches us to find our joy in God. As we do, our emptiness from treasuring other things fades. The angel was showing us that this reality is exactly what we have in the story of Christmas. It is good news of great joy. This joy goes far beyond a tree, toys, gifts, cookies, or even Santa Clause. I know, I know, these things are great. However, they do not bring great joy. Why, then, do we give them center stage this time of year?
Image for a moment that you have not eaten in a week or so and you have a hunger like never before. You are given the option to eat a large pot of hearty stew, but you instead go hunting in the dumpster for something to eat. This is precisely what we do when we trade in Jesus for Santa Clause. We make our celebrations hollow as we center them on empty joys.
Millions of non-Christians celebrate Christmas every year. Ponder that one. People who do not care about Jesus Christ, celebrate the day that is supposed to celebrate His coming. This shows just how much we have commercialized our good news of great joy. We are turning hungry people away from the stew and pointing them to the dumpsters. The result is “happiness” in a holiday instead of joy in a Savior.
The reason I am passionate about this is because there are millions of empty souls in our world. I love Christmas lights, Christmas cookies, Christmas gifts, and all of the other things that come with it. However, none of those things satisfy my soul or the souls of others. I want people to experience great joy! I don’t want the world to have a December bandaid of “happiness” when they can instead have a life-long salvation of great joy. Jesus brings great joy. This joy satisfies every longing within us all. This joy is rooted in Jesus being the Savior of the world.
A Savior, Christ the Lord
The message of Christmas all boils down to a Savior being born. Jesus was born to die so that we may live. Think about that. Fully God, Jesus came to take on flesh and enter into our reality. Not only was He willing to be born in human flesh, but He came knowing that He would ultimately die. He came with a mission to die and rise again and become the Savior of the world. He accomplished that mission.
I want you to know, dear friend, that you need Jesus to be your Savior more than you need the top want on your Christmas list. You need Jesus more than you need Santa to come down your chimney. Santa demands us to be “good this year,” while Jesus took that burden off of our shoulders. A holy God, who demands holiness, gave us Jesus to be our holiness. In Him, we have “the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7). Translation: in Christ, we are forgiven. In Christ, we are made perfect by His perfection. No naughty list can keep us from receiving this grace. What a gift!
My prayer is that you would see the good news of great joy that is found in the Savior of our souls this Christmas season. By all means, enjoy the festivities that come with the holiday. However, I pray that you also see through those festivities. A perfect Savior left heaven to pursue your soul and satisfy your every longing with great joy. Let that be our focus! Presents and cookies become secondary when we understand this good news.
Let our joy explode as we ponder on Jesus this year. He is the only Reason for this season. Worship Him. Find your joy. As the popular Christmas song says, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come!” That, and only that, is the true Christmas story.