How do you celebrate the season? Do you get together with friends and family? Do you bake a tray full of Christmas goodies? Do you prepare an incredible Christmas feast? Do you have your own special traditions for yourself and your family? Surely you hang the decorations, sing the songs, and watch the Grinch on TV. After all, it’s all part of the festivity, isn’t it?
Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year. Every year is such an incredible experience. And really, it’s a birthday celebration. It’s a celebration in recognition of the day God entered into Creation and was born as a baby.
If you drive around town, you will likely see some nativity scenes. These great displays typically include Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, the wise men, and of course that baby in the manger. Maybe you have one of these displays on your own front lawn, or perhaps you have a tabletop scene in your living room. All in recognition of the night Jesus was born.
In an age when Jesus is often pushed to the margins of the celebration of Christmas, at least these nativity scenes remind us of His birth. And that is a good thing.
However, Christmas is not simply about a chubby baby in a manger. The nativity scenes are nice, but they do not tell the whole story. Because Christmas is really about an invasion.
That baby in the manger was not just any baby. As fragile as we may imagine Him to be, He was actually God in the flesh, the mighty King of Kings, who came to set captives free. He was invading Satan’s territory in order to set us free from the power of sin and death. And that is what Jesus finally accomplished by His own cruel death on a cross.
That first Christmas when Jesus was born set in motion a whole course of events that culminated with the cross and the resurrection. So this Christmas, when you see those displays of that chubby baby in the manger, remember that He was so much more. He was the light who came to conquer the darkness. And it’s because of what started that night in Bethlehem that we can have hope and joy today.