Somehow, the focus of the Christmas season has shifted from the birth of Jesus Christ and related biblical stories to theglitters of Christmas trees and decorations in the homes, streets and shopping malls. The world has adopted Christmas as its holiday. Christmas is now celebrated in almost every country in the world, but ironically without Christ. Christmas has become a time of festivity, fun and merrymaking.
Even Christians are guilty of such Christ-less celebration. Ask the people around you what Christmas is all about and they would most probably associate it with Christmas trees, exchanging of gifts, Santa Claus, reindeers, sleighs, winter wonderland, log cakes, mistletoes and parties. None of these things has anything to do with Christmas at all.
As Christians, let us be sober-minded and not be caught up with the noises that distract us from the significance of Christmas. The first Christmas two thousand years ago was a momentous day when Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, was born.
During this Christmas season, I urge you to pause and marvel at the many wonders of Christmas. Let us recapture the true spirit of Christmas and be enthralled by it.
Consider the beauty of that day when the transcendent God,who lived in unapproachable light, drew near to humanity. The Son of God took on flesh and dwelled among man. The hope of salvation was incarnated. What a glorious day!
The Saviour’s birth is no ordinary birth. His mother was a young virgin who had not slept with any man. Jesus was conceived through the power of the Holy Spirit of God as announced by the angel, Gabriel. It was a miraculous conception. The prophet, Isaiah had prophesied concerning this miracle some seven hundred years before – “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel”(Isaiah 7:14 - ESV).
This is not the only prophecy concerning the coming of the Saviour, or Messiah as the Jews would call Him. There were numerous other prophecies and all of them were scrupulously recorded in the Old Testament portion of the bible. For example, another prophet, Micah, prophesied the precise place of His birth - Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). All these ancient prophecies, which were given several hundred years to more than a thousand years before, came to pass. How amazing is that?
Consider the probability of hundreds of these prophecies about the coming of the Saviour, His life and death and resurrection. We are not just talking about one or two prophecies, but at least three hundred of them fulfilled in the Person of Jesus Christ. It is mathematically staggering. It shows the hand of God at work.
The miracle and wonder of Christmas do not stop here. Though Jesus Christ was born in the humble surrounding of a stable, God sent angels to announce His birth as was befitting the Son of God. First, an angel appeared to some shepherds in the field and announced to them the birth of the Saviour – “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). It was a majestic moment with the glory of God shining around them. Then suddenly, a multitude of angels appeared. Their praises and declaration broke the stillness of the night - “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased” (Luke 2:14).
The first Christmas is certainly not an ordinary day. It is a day of miracles and wonder like the world has never seen before. The shepherds must have been awestruck to see thosemagnificent angels and afterward came face to face with infant Jesus in a manger.
Sometime later, a group of wisemen from the East came to worship the Saviour-King. They brought with them expensive gifts to pay homage to the infant King. God had sent a star to guide them all the way from a distant land in the East to the house in Bethlehem where Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus stayed. This is no ordinary star. This is another miracle of Christmas.
Spend some time to take in all these wonder-filled moments of Christmas. Be awestruck by the power of God and the beauty of the occasion.
Wishing you a blessed Christmas!
Pastors Leslie & Adeline Chua