If you ask most people why we celebrate Christmas to a man they will say it is to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Even a staunch atheists has to relent that Christmas was established to celebrate the birth of Christ. They may not like it, but that’s the deal. Now of course there are those out there that will argue that December 25th is not the exact date of His birth and that it’s actually in October and if you celebrate in December God will make you an umpa lumpa and will hate you forever. I honestly don’t concern myself with that too much because it’s waste of energy. Let’s face it, if for one day each year the world focuses their attention back to Christ (even if just for a second or half heartily) and because of that gets people to perhaps step into a church for the one time a year to hear of what Christ did then it’s worth it whatever day it landed on. I mean, I highly doubt that when we get to heaven God is going to shake his finger at us, take away our grace card stained with Jesus’ blood, and tell us to stand in the corner because we were celebrating on the wrong date. Just seems to be a little outside the character of God if you ask me.
The disciple John has an interesting way of describing Christmas.
“And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14 (NIV)
When my children were born I got to see what a beautiful, developed human life looked like. There were fingers, toes, hair (yes Hunt’s have hair at some point), and life was pouring out of them with each cry. Yet I also saw other things born. I saw joy, soul expansion, and a new level of love. You see with a birth of a baby comes things we see the describable and the indescribable.
In that manager thousands of years ago that same beautifully developed human life was on display. It was void of the beeping of monitors, doctors in scrubs, and over priced meals, but nonetheless a baby was born. Those same indescribable side benefits of joy and love were felt too, but as Jesus was held in the arms of His mother out of him poured something that no other baby could offer.
It was His grace that when fully developed would save the entire world.
John uses the Greek word “charis” which means “merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues.” Found within that baby boy was the solution to the sin of the world. It is grace that would pour out of his hands, feet, and sides. It is grace that would drip down His face as He prayed for His father to take this cup from him (Luke 22:44, NIV). It is grace that would look upon the faces of sinners and see them for who they were in the eyes of the Father and not in the eyes of the world. It is grace that would forgive the prostitute, play with children, and heal the blind. And it was not just a small amount of grace, but an uncontainable amount.
John tell us that, “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” – John 1:16 (ESV)
It was grace upon grace that was born at Christmas.
So yes, we remember the manager and the cast of characters present at the birth of Christ, but may we also stare deeply into the eyes of this small boy and remember that found within Him was what would save the world. That behind the frailty of this little body was the unstoppable gift of grace found in Him. A grace that saved a wretch like me and that wipes my sins as white as snow.
So celebrate Him for His birth, but worship Him for His grace.