I don’t want to be a downer – I want Christmas to be the happiest time of year for all of us. But an important part of a genuine celebration of the birth of Jesus is to consider the purpose of His birth. He was born to bring division, He came to redeem humankind. Jesus was born to die.
In Luke 2, the prophet, Simeon spoke words to Mary and Joseph that must have frightened them:
Luke 2:34-35 “Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, but he will be a joy to many others. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. 35 As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.” (NLT) How do you think these parents of an 8 day old Son felt about his words? Gee thanks, Simeon for your encouragement!
Think that through. Some will love Jesus, others will hate Him. He is the Messiah but many will fight against Him. Mary, Jesus’ mother would suffer much pain because of the way her Son would be treated.
Not exactly the kind of Christmas greeting one would hope for. But it tells the rest of the story. And it explains why so many people today resist the real meaning of Christmas – and Jesus.
Merry (and contemplative) Christmas to you!