The Heart of Christmas December 24, 2016 by Staff

A few last-minute shoppers can be found at the mall, Christmas music floods the radio while we rush between office parties and family gatherings. The food, friends and festivities are great, but in the midst of our busyness, it's easy to get carried away and miss the real meaning of Christmas.  We sometimes forget that at the heart of Christmas is Christ—the babe born in a manger, in humble circumstances. He wasn't born to a king and queen but to a peasant couple who couldn't even find proper lodging. Think about that for a moment. The all-powerful God of the universe humbled himself and wasn't born into a royal family, but instead chose to become part of a family without financial resources or political power.

Isaiah 9:6  says "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."  The prophet Isaiah wrote those words about 700 years prior to Jesus' birth. This certainly has deep spiritual meaning. But there are political implications as well. Followers of Christ who have changed hearts and minds, also have changed their ultimate allegiance and reference point in life. This is what angered Herod the Great and It's also why Christmas—a joyous time is closely linked with the reality of evil and suffering—something we deal with at this moment in history. 

Of course, the humility and gentleness of God to become man is difficult to fathom. It's even more difficult to believe he'd exchange his righteousness for our unrighteousness, His life for ours. But one thing within reach of our understanding is that the greatest gift in history is that God gave us His son Jesus in order to reconcile us to himself. It's why Christmas centers around gift-giving and celebration. And the best gift any one of us could receive this Christmas is Jesus. Merry Christmas! 

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