By David A. Sargent
Dennis Doughty has a Christmas wish…
“Let me share with you how I wish the world would celebrate Christ’s birth:That Jesus was born into the world is something to celebrate! The incarnation, God becoming flesh in the person of Jesus (John 1:14), revealed the great love of God in that He came to us!
When I was a boy in school, we had two holidays: one to celebrate Washington’s birthday, the other to celebrate Lincoln’s. On those occasions we would study about these men and what they did for our country. We studied about their work and their role as presidents. But we never studied anything about their births. I know of no facts or stories concerning the circumstances of their births.
I wish the world would celebrate the birth of Jesus the way it celebrates the birth of other men, by concentrating on His life. I wish [the world] nation would look more at His accomplishments, teaching, world influence, and death; than at the manger scene, the wise men, and the shepherds tending their flocks.
Yes, His virgin birth was special, miraculous, humble and unique. However, in our celebration, let us not lose focus on the man He became and how His life changed the world.”*
However, it is of utmost importance for us to understand WHY He came.
When Mary discovered that she was “with child,” an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:20-21).
Jesus came to save us from sin! That’s what makes His birth so special! When our sins rendered us doomed for eternal destruction, Jesus came to rescue us. And, in order to save us, Jesus – the sinless Son of God – had to die on the cross for our sins, be buried, and then rise again after three days (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
Jesus WILL save those who: place their faith and trust in Him (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Him before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) in His name for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). His atoning blood will continue to cleanse those who continue to walk in the light of His word (1 John 1:7).
The best way to celebrate the birth of Jesus is to recognize WHY He was born into the world (for our salvation) and to accept His gift on His terms.
- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled "Living Water." To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website: http://www.creekwoodcc.org
* An excerpt from “How I Wish the World Would Celebrate Christmas” by Dennis Doughty in The Magnolia Messenger , Oct.-Dec., 2010; Volume 31, No.4.