We always get excited at the prospect of a new little life coming among us. I’m a grandparent, now. When a grandchild was on the way, I was as excited as when my own children were born. We always celebrate a new birth in our church congregation.
I suspect that, for many, the birth of the baby in Bethlehem it is the sole reason for their seasonal joy. It is the celebration of a new baby and nothing more. For others, it is only one of two occasions when their thoughts turn to spiritual matters. It’s what we do at Christmas and Easter. For either group, that falls far short of the real reason for the happiness we should all experience.
We are not just celebrating the birth of a child. If we were, all we would be doing is holding a sanctified baby shower.
We are fortunate that we can know this child’s destiny. Seven hundred years before Jesus’ birth, the prophet Isaiah spoke of his purpose in coming. He came to teach us about God’s love. He also came to die for us.
While he was among us he gave us the message of God’s amazing love and forgiveness for those who would put their faith in him. He came to call us to repentance and commitment. He instructed that we should follow his example.
He said that, if we would put our faith in him, we would begin to experience eternal life here and now. The question we should be asking is not “What if you died today?" Instead, it is “What is tomorrow looking like, and would you like some help and blessing in living it?” That’s really what Jesus was talking about.
I like the statement the late Charles Schultz puts in the mouth of his cartoon character, Charlie Brown. He says, “Eternity is a very long time, but not as long as it was yesterday.”
Why wait for the blessings that can start now and go on for all eternity? Why wait another day to understand the love of God for you. This season is about far more than a little baby born in a foreign country twenty centuries ago.
This Christmas, may we discover that there is much more to celebrate. Let’s seek direction from the Wonderful Counsellor, give our devotion to our Mighty God who is the everlasting example of a loving Father, and find time to contemplate the calm that only the Prince of Peace can give.