That day in Bethlehem wasn’t the same as the routine day before or the ordinary day after. Something would happen on “that day” to alter the course of time and history. Mary would never be the same for out of her virgin womb would be delivered God in the flesh, Immanuel, God With Us. A commonplace stable with all its accompaniments would be transformed into the holiest place on earth. That’s what happens to any place where God shows up. He turns the ordinary into the extraordinary, the natural into the supernatural.
The stars that are shown each night since God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit said, “Let there be light,” became a Global Positioning Satellite pointing the wise men to the exact location of a baby in a manger.
The angels performed the concert of the ages. The curtains of glory were pulled back and the main attraction was the sole subject of their singing. Nothing like this had ever happened before and nothing like this would ever happen again. Perhaps a demon cried out in terror, “Hell help us, all Heaven has broken out.”
Common shepherds were transformed into power sharers of the Good News. Herod the Great turned into Herod the Scaredy Cat, because there was a new King in town. Objects like Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh were converted into prophetic messages. Why else would something used for embalming the dead, myrrh, be given as a gift to the baby Jesus?
An ordinary name was transformed into the “Name above every name.” Jesus was a popular name, but on that day, it became matchless and incomparable, the one and only, a name for every generation, a name for you, and a name for me, in fact, the only name that can grant forgiveness of sin and give eternal life.
The swaddling clothes wrapped around the baby became a royal robe for the unblemished Lamb of God. The manger became a majestic throne. What a difference Jesus made that day, and this day. An everyday cradle rocked the world, even the ages. The day made an indelible mark on history so much so that we date our calendars by the event of His birth. Jesus was born older than His mother and the same age as His Father.
That day which permanently affected history and eternity transforms our entire society at least once a year. Haven’t you noticed? People are a bit kinder around Christmas time. People are more generous whether it’s a gift to missions, helping at someplace that gives out food and clothing, putting a $5 spot in the little red pot in front of Publix, helping a needy family, or visiting a homebound widow or widower.
Our greedy world seems to get a little less self-centered. No other time of the year affects us in such a way. The department store’s sound system is transformed into a Christian concert as Christmas carols are constantly played. I am glad that many businesses woke up to the silliness of wokeness refusing to say, “Merry Christmas.” Shame on Target and Walgreens for not getting that memo. It’s not “Happy Holidays” folks, it is Merry Christmas!
But how does that day transform us? We take time to be with families, talk, listen, and reminisce about both funny and sad times, happy memories, and not-so-happy memories. The iPhone Camera gets a lot more use on that day as we point it toward people we love.
We make calls to friends and send cards to people we love whom we have not communicated with or seen all year long. We post on Facebook and Instagram our happy moments. We write Christmas Letters—God forgives us—we write Christmas Letters. We tend to exaggerate how unbelievably great our lives are: “Dear One, We got richer this year, prettier this year, smarter this year, and we’re all thin! Hope you had a good year too.” Merry Christmas. P.S. Can’t wait to brag further next year as we can’t seem to gain weight.
But the true meaning of Christmas frees us up to say things like: “You know, this year hasn’t been very good, in fact, it has, to quote the Grinch that Stole Christmas, “Stink, Stank, and Stunk.” But Jesus is still Lord, I’m still breathing, and tomorrow is still under God’s control. Merry Christmas!
More visits are made to hospitals and nursing homes than at any other time of the year because of Christmas. People are more receptive to the Gospel message at Christmas. And yes, many are extremely lonely, sad, depressed, even suicidal this time of the year. Because Christmas is too about memories—memories of a painful childhood, memories of the loss of a loved one, a relationship that went sour, a wound, a disappointment, lead many to look for peace in a bottle, bag, a pill, or a person; when the One they are looking for is the One Who makes Christmas, Christmas.
We have the wonderful opportunities to be missionaries to our families and to declare, “Jesus changed my life, it’s not easy and I’m not perfect, but Jesus has given me peace of mind and a purpose for getting up every morning.” This is your most unique moment to share your story of being saved. Don’t miss that moment! No other time of the year presents this kind of opportunity to share our faith.
One article I read summed up the incredible impact of Christianity: Christianity in general affected the status of women by condemning marital infidelity, divorce, incest, polygamy, infanticide (female infants were more likely to be killed), and abortion.” Because of Jesus’ birth hospitals and charitable institutions took care of the sick and hungry. Orphanages were born because of His birth. Womanhood was raised to its highest level because Jesus was born. Slavery was condemned because Jesus was born.
But don’t forget, when Christmas Day is over, the One Whose birth we celebrate is not over. Jesus is still there on December 26th, January 19th, June 4th, and August 27th. His name is also Immanuel—GOD WITH US. God with us in the ordinary, everyday, routine, even mundane days of life.
- The Lost Person is still Lost
- The Hurting still needs the touch of Jesus through you
- The Hungry could still use a Food Basket
- The Little Boy whose dad left still needs a Father Figure
- The Lonely person still needs a Friend
- The Discouraged still need to be Cheered Up
- The Church still Needs Volunteers, Workers
- The Choir will still need Singers and Missionaries still need Prayer and Support
So, the world turns off Christmas, but there is never a time when the Christian can turn off his light, take down his guard against the attacks of Satan, lose his song, put up the praise like he puts up the decorations, or forget about that one tree over 2000 years ago that had the gift of eternal life hanging on it
Christmas for a Christian is not 12 Days—it’s 365 Days, 24 hours a day, demonstrating that we aren’t just dealing with a season, but a lifestyle: not a compartment, but a way of life.
So, on December 26 I can still sing, “Joy to the World the Lord is Come.”
On January 19th I can still sing, “Silent Night.”
On June 4th I can still sing “O Come All Ye Faithful.”
On August 27th, I can still sing, “Go Tell It on the Mountain.”
So, on this Christmas Eve 2022, let Christmas transform you.
God’s indescribable gift wasn’t placed under a Christmas Tree, He was nailed to a Tree—an Old Rugged Cross. Tonight, I ask you to take the hands of your heart, reach out, and receive this free gift that will allow you to say, “I know that I know that I know if I died right now, I would go to heaven!”