It’s only been recently that I started truly understanding the deeper meaning and purpose behind Christtmas. And it has radically changed how I approach this month, teach my kids, and look forward to the next year.
Of course, we all know the true meaning of Christmas: Christ’s Birth. But how often do we go deeper than that? Can we put into words the power, the majesty, and the real beauty of that? WHY is Christmas such a time of celebration?
This might seem like an easy thing to answer at first, but the heart of Christmas takes us into the very heart of the Gospel – and our lives as Christians. Understanding Christmas on a deeper level is the very first step in truly teaching our kids (and our own hearts) about the manger scene and why it’s so significant.
Listen to the podcast: I’ve recorded this blog post as an audio podcast. You can read it here, or if you prefer, listen to it as a podcast below! And don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast in iTunes.
Christmas becomes such a busy time. Time for parties, looking at Christmas lights, making cookies, buying and wrapping presents…If I’m not very careful, my entire month can get swallowed by all the fun and practical parts about Christmas.
So much so that I have no brain power or energy left at the end of the day to really focus on the larger picture and meaning of Christmas.
Discovering the Deeper Side of Christmas
I’ve been so thankful because for the past several years, I feel like God has been confronting me with the importance of the Gospel. The importance of relying on God and His strength for everything and starting to see the bigger picture at work.
And this is especially true when it comes to my view of Christmas. Throughout my study, I’ve really come to see that the Christmas story is really just the story of the Gospel, or at least, the beginning of it.
Through baby Jesus, we glimpse the entirety of God’s redemptive plan, and when we truly understand that story and how it unfolds, then we see the immense beauty and celebration of the tiny babe born in a manger on that dark night.
In essence, to understand Christmas and the Christmas story is to understand the basics of the Christian faith: The Gospel.
Why Was Christ Born?
The first thing to look at in understanding the celebration of this season, is to first ask why Christ was born? Why do celebrate his humble birth in a stable?
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”
– Luke 2:8-15
Jesus didn’t come simply to perform miracles, or teach his disciplines how to lead moral lives, or to even simply point people back to God.
Jesus had a very clear purpose in coming to earth as a human baby: He came to one day die on the cross for all believers. For you and for me. He came to be our holy sacrifice and to die in our place so we could one day live eternity in heaven with God.
He to earth as a baby to be our savior.
And in order to be our savior, Jesus had to be fully man. He was already fully God and remained to be fully God throughout his earthly life. But he also needed to be fully man so that he could die upon the cross for us bearing the full weight and responsibility of our sins.
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” – 1 Peter 2:24
He had to be born as a human baby to fulfill Old Testament prophecy and more importantly, to fulfill God’s redemptive plan of salvation.
We Need Jesus
If you are a believer, then you know that you need Jesus. You know that you are a sinner in desperate need of the salvation that Christ offers.
There is no path to heaven, there is no unity with God, except through the sacrificial work that Jesus did on the cross. So during Easter we celebrate His resurrection. We celebrate that Christ lives! We rejoice in the fact that we can live into eternity in heaven with Christ!!
But this celebration starts a few months earlier. During the darkest part of the year. We read a story of a baby born into very humble beginnings. We see our King Jesus born not in a palace with royal servants and a grand entrance into this world, but we see our King Jesus born into a stable, surrounded by animals, without any pomp or circumstance.
We see our Lord, our God, and our King Jesus lowering himself, humbling himself to that of a little baby. To being vulnerable and dependent on human, sinful parents. To living a human life where he got tired, got hungry, had child hood sicknesses, got the flu, and encountered temptation just like we do.
He was eventually beaten, flogged, had thorns smashed into his head, had metal stakes driven through his hands and his feet, and hung on a cross which would have slowly crushed his lungs. They say that death by crucifixion is one of the most painful ways to die. And yet, Jesus endured it all.
He happily came to earth knowing that would be the outcome. He came to be our sacrifice. He died to take our sins upon himself. All for us.
Glimpsing the Beauty of Christmas
Of course this is the beauty of the Gospel! It’s what we daily rejoice in. It’s the beauty that our homemaking and our lives should be founded upon. It should affect our attitudes and how we respond to those in our life. The glory and the majesty of the Gospel should transform our lives as believers and cause us to want to share this good news with all we come into contact with.
And it all starts at Christmas. This beautiful and magnificent story of redemption all starts with a baby in a manger.
Christ came to earth as a human baby to die for our sins. And he came because we desperately need a savior. We are living in a dark world. Our own lives are dark and full of sin. But, we find salvation through Jesus Christ alone.
And that’s only possible because he first came as a baby in a manger. And that’s what we celebrate during December. We celebrate that when the shepherds heard about Jesus’ birth they said “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
We should be singing Glory to God all month long! Glory to the newborn King!
We should rejoice and celebrate that we no longer have to travel to Jerusalem and offer sacrifices in the temple to be right with God. We have immediate and personal access to God through Jesus. And that is our reason for celebrating, joy, and singing Glory to God this Christmas.
When we as women, when we as moms, can focus on that, when we can truly let the gravity of that sink in, then we are better prepared to teach our kids. When they see the joy of the Gospel light up our faces when we teach them, they are going to glimpse the beauty within in. They will start to see how real and significant this Jesus is.
When we let this truth transform our own hearts when it concerns Christmas, it’s so much easier to put the focus off of presents and Christmas cookies and start daily focusing on the Gospel and Christ more. It’s not about developing a system or doing two hours worth of Christmas activities a day. It’s about daily, in those small moments, in these tiny pockets of time, naturally focusing on the Gospel.
When you are looking at a nativity, it’s explaining to your kids the importance behind it. Explaining WHY Jesus had to come as a human baby, so that one day he could take our sins upon himself, and that indeed, each and every one of us is a sinner and dead in our trespasses and sins according to Ephesians 2:1.
But we have the free gift of God which is eternal life in Christ Jesus according to Romans 6:23.
So I want to invite you this Christmas to focus on the Gospel, to focus on Christ, and really think about the beauty of this season. It will transform the way you look at this month, the way you look at outside commitments, and how you choose to spend your time during December and hopefully well into the new year.
Resource of the Week:
Christ-Centered Christmas Kit – A digital kit to help you have fun & focus on Christ!
Throughout this kit, my heart was to give you the best of both worlds: the practical and fun pieces to help your kids and your household focus on Christ more this month and the meat and heart of Biblical resources for learning more and digging in deeper.
Because at the end of the day, it’s NOT about the activities or traditions you hand down. It’s about Christ. Now, if we are intentional about it, those activities and traditions can help enhance these lessons we are teaching our kids. But it’s about the heart and the center that is Christ which is the most important thing.
And plain and simple: that’s the goal of the Christmas kit. It includes a 6 part audio series that takes you in depth into the beauty and the majesty of Christmas. This post only barely scratched the surface of what we can dig into when it comes to a Christ-Centered Christmas!
This kit includes everything you need to focus your home, your heart, and to teach your kids about Christ. It includes:
- A Scripture based family mission statement
- Family Christmas Planner
- Celebrating a Christ-Centered Christmas eBook
- 6 audio lessons to help you understand the TRUE meaning of the season
- BONUS Scripture art prints
- and more!
And it’s on sale for just a few more days!! Through Friday December 9th, you can get $5 OFF the kit. Snag everything from above (and more) for only $19.95.
Links & Resources From This Episode: