“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” – Matthew 1:21
I once heard Glenn Beck declare on one of his talk shows, “Let me share with you my story of Christmas. To me, Christmas is not about the birth of the baby. It is about what that baby grew up to become, how He decided to live His life and the choices and the sacrifices He made in the end. To me, Christmas points to the redemption, the redeeming power of that man.” Listening to that show, I started thinking to myself, He’s really getting it – the redemption of Christ. But then Glenn continued by saying, “It’s about starting over.” And I thought, Uh-oh. He went on to suggest that his listeners use the season to start over, wipe their slates clean, and become “who you really are!”
Now I’m not here to criticize Glenn Beck, but the story of Christmas is not about starting over. Yes, the Christmas story is about God’s love and grace and the humility and servanthood of the little baby that was born. But that baby grew up to be a man, and He came to redeem for our Heavenly Father what is rightfully His in the first place – us. Jesus came to pay the greatest price for our redemption – His life, by dying for our sins on the cross.
The story of Christmas doesn’t stop at the manger. It continues through His perfect, sinless life, His death on the cross, and His resurrection from the dead. The story of Christmas is that the Father desires for every single one of us to be redeemed. Our part is to accept His gift of redemption in faith. That’s how we can truly celebrate the story of Christmas!