Christmas in the modern secular era has become a hedonistic worship of capitalism and oneself. People are willing to stampede one another to get the newest useless Chinese sweat shop labor toy for their children while entirely missing the true reason for the season of Christmas. While children eagerly await cookies and a visit from Santa Claus, they forget the season of advent and the preparation for the coming of the Christ.
Christmas is not about cultural expressions of greed and selfishness, it is about the coming of Christ. No amount of “holiday carols”, boatloads of presents, or plates of food could ever be equal to the ultimate gift given to us over two thousand years ago, the gift of eternal life. We must keep Christ in Christmas, for without Christ in our holiday and our lives we are nothing but an empty and aimless people on the road to destruction.
Christmas is the day when we commemorate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. All should be in awe of the gift of Christmas, for through the birth of Christ we were given Jesus Christ who came to Earth to take on the sins of mankind and die for our sins. The sacrifice on the cross gave every man, woman, and child on the planet the ability to be saved from eternal death through accepting Christ as their personal savior. The Christ God is the only god. Above the metaphors and stories of other faiths, the Christian God is the Creator of Heaven and Earth, worthy to be worshiped and glorified by every people and nation on on the planet.
Christ is a loving God who was willing to lay down His own sinless life for legions of sinners. God who is all knowing and all powerful humbled himself to send His only son to be both fully man and fully God to live through the temptations and pain of being human. The birth of Christ is the fulfillment of prophecies made to the prophets of the Old Testament. Waiting for thousands of years in anticipation, humanity waited to be given the fulfillment of the Word through the birth of Christ. Without Christmas we could not have the sacrifice on the cross and our salvation, therefore understanding the lead up to the birth of Christ and the bringing of our Savior into the world is paramount to fully appreciating the sacrifice and power of the cross and Resurrection.
From the Fall in which Adam and Eve ate of the apple from the Tree of Knowledge and betrayed God, sin ate away at the very heart and soul of humanity. Sin so poisoned the hearts of men that God drowned humanity except for a small righteous remnant in what became known as The Flood. With the temptation of Satan and his demonic armies that roam through the Earth to attack and subvert humanity and our own sin oriented mindset, humanity is unable to live a truly righteous and just life.
Human beings cannot uphold the standards of God due to our own sin nature so that even with the just punishment of The Flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, mankind was unable to turn away from its sin like a pig in its own filth. In order to be rejoined to the purity of before the Fall and be able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven to join our Creator, mankind needed a Savior to save us from ourselves. Prophets of Israel foretold of the coming of a Christ, a man who who would break the chains of sin and liberate humanity from the eternal death and damnation of Hell, the just punishment for sinners who are not washed clean from their sins.
The coming of Christ begins with the Theotokos, the ever Blessed Virgin Mary. The Angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary to ask her to accept becoming the Mother of the Christ. With devotion and trust, a young girl named Mary gave herself entirely to God when she told the angel Gabriel “I am the Lord’s servant..May your word to me be fulfilled” and then Virgin Mary accepted her responsibility to carry and care for the Savior of all of humanity.
The man that Mary was to marry was named Joseph, and he was descended from King David, a crucial part of the prophecy of the coming of the Messiah. Joseph was told in a dream by an angel of God that Mary was still a virgin and that he should marry her and adopt the child that she carried. Under Jewish law of the era when a father adopts a child, they are considered to be a part of his bloodline, thereby making Joseph the father of Jesus while Jesus was conceived by a Virgin. As prophesied to the prophet Isaiah “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” The birth of Christ fulfilled literally hundreds of prophecies from the Old Testament thus bringing the close of the old covenant between God and the Israelites and the dawn of the new between God and all of humanity.
The magnitude and holiness of the Nativity cannot be understated. Gathered in the most humble of circumstances, the Blessed Virgin and her spouse Saint Joseph gathered to bring the Savior of mankind onto the Earth in the small town of Bethlehem. There is no love or sacrifice without this event. The birth of Christ brought wise men from the far East, most likely Zoroastrians, to worship the birth of Christ. Using their own prophecy and following the a star, these Magi were the first Gentiles to witness the majesty of Christ and to bow before Him.
As proclaimed in the Psalms “May all Kings fall down before Him” and with humbleness these kings of the East fell before the baby Jesus and worshiped Him. The Gospel of Matthew tells us that the Magi “On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.” If mighty and powerful wise men can bow and give thanks and offerings to Christ, all should be able to humble themselves before the Lord. Although coming from a different faith background, the Truth of the word of God and the foretelling of the coming of the Christ moved the hearts of the Magi and brought them many miles to pay homage to the Lord. Truth is universal, and the Magi recognized that regardless of their stature on this planet that they must bow before the Christ, for he is our salvation.
The message of the Good News was not confined to the Magi, choirs of angels from Heaven told local shepherds out among their flocks of the coming of the Christ. The Gospel of Luke tells us the story of the shepherds that…
“there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’… So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”
The coming of Christ was so powerful that these shepherds went far and wide to proclaim the amazing truth that had been revealed to them, the waiting was over, the Savior had come. From the poor peasant shepherds who were alerted by an angel to the birth of the Christ to the rich and powerful Magi, the coming of Christ was an occasion to be celebrated by everyone regardless of social class or circumstances of birth. The coming of Christ redefined mans relationship with God and with one another. All are able to come to the table of Christ and be washed of their sins, all are called to righteousness, and all shall bow before Christ.
We must celebrate Christmas to honor the coming of Christ and to recommit to the renewal of our Faith in Him. Christmas is not about presents or cookies or trees, it is about worshiping the coming of the One True God. Without Christ our culture, our nation, and our people are bankrupt, therefore Christmas should be a time of joy as we welcome into our midst a celebration of the Christian Faith and the glory of Jesus Christ. Without Christ we are nothing yet with Him we are able to overcome our own selfish nature to transcend the spiritual bankruptcy of sin.
The coming of Christ is a time to bring our families close and be thankful for the acceptance of a young girl to accept the responsibility of being mother to our Savior, to Joseph for caring for and protecting the Blessed virgin and their young child, and for Christ to have come and loved us so much that he gave his own perfect life to redeem our souls. The four corners of the Earth come together today to shout in unison “Hosanna in the Highest” to our Savior and eternal King. The Christ is born, and we are all called to worship.