I love this time of year. The music, the time with friends and family, and the cooler weather all come together to make the Christmas season feel unique and special. I especially love taking my kids to look at Christmas lights. I love seeing the ambient glow of meticulously decorated houses light up their amazed faces. There’s just something about the way Christmas lights look on a cold, clear night.
Those nights make me think about that night — the night for which this whole season exists. Now, I know Jesus was not really born on December 25. There is very little chance it was a cold, clear night when Christ was born. In fact, we’ve romanticized quite a bit of the nativity. I mean, how would you get a single camel, donkey, and sheep to line up that perfectly anyway? As someone whose job has him spending way too much time at the business end of a birthing simulator, I can assure you there was nothing glamorous or peaceful about giving birth in a barn.
Still, in my head, I have this idea of everyone lined up facing the same way with baby Jesus holding His arms out for some reason. The cold, clear night made the stars seem that much brighter.
In reality, a possibly terrified teenager sat with her middle-aged carpenter fiancé witnessing the greatest moment in human history. In a stable, near a crowded city, centuries of silence from God were broken by the piercing cry of a newborn child. The Word became flesh and pitched His tent among His people.
As Christians, we often complain that the Christmas season has become too materialized, too commercialized. We blame society for watering down what it is we are truly celebrating, though I often find myself watering down the enormity of what this silent night actually means.
I was watching some video online the other day, probably something ridiculous like “13 Celebrities You Won’t Believe are Actually Cats Dressed as Humans (Number 7 Will Shock You).” Anyway, this wonderful use of my time referenced the moon landing for some reason. I was born sometime after the moon landing, so there has never been a time in my life where it did not happen. In that moment, I was reminded of how magnificent an achievement Mr. Armstrong’s “giant leap for mankind” really was. How cool is it that we were able to do that! Still, I take it for granted.
This same principle applies to our view of the birth of Christ. We often take it for granted, too. We are numb to the magnitude of this moment. The creator of the universe, the Alpha and Omega, came to us in human form. He became one of us. How cool is that!
A wholly undeserving humanity received the gift of God’s physical presence. Our Messiah had stepped down from heaven to be born in a most unworthy manner.
This Christmas, I encourage you to remind yourself how amazing our God is. Every time you find yourself grumbling at Santa, turn your attention to that silent, holy night. With you and me in mind, knowing how far we would be from His presence on our own, God sent His son to redeem us to Him.
Merry Christmas to you all. May the Lord bless you and keep you. And may we never forget how amazing He truly is!Are you looking for a college where you can grow both academically and spiritually? The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor seeks to develop graduates who integrate Christian perspectives and attitudes into every dimension of life. For more information, we invite you to visit our website.