Janet and I have spent the better part of two weeks watching a number of feel good Christmas movies. Of course, most of them have been on the Hallmark channel, the channel I would pick if I could only choose one channel to watch. There have been stories about the north pole, people who have learned to love one another – putting aside their differences – and a host of other movies all centered around the theme of Christmas.
All in all, there are between twelve and fifteen new Christmas movies that we have recorded to watch throughout the month. While it’s true that they are fictional in nature, there’s no denying that they represent true themes of the season and how we regard each other as children of God.
But it occurs to me that there is an even better place to learn about Christmas stories. And that, of course, is from the Bible. Not only are they great stories, but they are true and they were written through divine inspiration – penned by men who memorialized the greatest story even told. And that story is about how God so loved the world that He sent His Son, Jesus, in human form to take on the sins of the world and die on the cross – in order to be able to re-unite us with the Father.
One of the things that God, through His Son, tried to teach us is that the joy is in the giving and that is one of the major themes of the life of Jesus. This season is certainly the time of year when we should renew our commitments to one another to emulate the life of Christ and bring joy to the world through our rededicated commitment of giving to one another.
Rather than ramble on, let’s get on to the part that has to do with the beginning of the story of the ultimate gift that the world has ever received – the presence of our Savior and King, Jesus. The Prince of Peace, King of the Jews, the Lamb of God – how many titles are reserved for Jesus! Our verse for this evening is the the one that highlights the beginning of the story of His earthly life. We are told, in Luke 2:4-7, “So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”
I hope that you get chills when you read those verses because they are the opening words that announce the arrival of the Savior of the world. No greater story has ever been told. And the anticipation only grows as the story unfolds and we learn about the life and times of Jesus. My encouragement this evening is that I believe you will be richly rewarded this Christmas season if you spend a little time re-reading the story of the Savior’s life here on earth. My prayer is that you will be blessed as you share this story with others and perhaps even teach the younger generations the true meaning of the Christmas story. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…