“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
Glenn Beck once shared his understanding of Christmas. “To me, Christmas is not about the birth of a baby. It is about who 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.”
And that’s it – the TRUE meaning of Christmas is all about the redemption of Christ! But then Glenn continued, by suggesting that his listeners use the season to start over, to 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 into a man who would redeem for our Heavenly Father what is rightfully His in the first place – our lives. Jesus came to pay the greatest price for our redemption – His life, dying for our sins on the cross. The story of Christmas doesn’t stop at the manger. It continues throughout the perfect, sinless life, the cross, and ultimately, the resurrection of the only Son of God. The story of Christmas is that our Heavenly Father desires for every single one of us to be redeemed. But there’s nothing that we can do about it. There’s no decision of the will to “start over” or clean up our act in a way that makes us good enough. Our part is simply to accept this gift of redemption in faith.
And that’s the real story of Christmas!