For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Christmas has always been my favourite time of year. I have fond childhood memories when the atmosphere felt magical. We would beg Mom & Dad to put the tree up earlier every year. Christmas music was always playing on the stereo. We’d take a few drives around town to see all the beautiful displays of Christmas lights. My Saturday afternoons were spent Christmas baking with Mom and then we were off to the church to practice for the annual Christmas Concert. People were always dropping by for tea, visits, and a sample of our Christmas baking. The anticipation leading up to the big day was so exciting, I could barely fall asleep at night. My brother, Paul & I would try to guess what we were getting by shaking all the gifts. As the 25th got closer, we’d put a pillow over our heads and say, “If you tell me what one of my gifts is, I’ll tell you what one of yours is!” When we were younger our family would drive up north to Pembroke where my parents grew up to visit family. It’s a beautiful but sometimes treacherous drive in the winter. My aunt and uncle lived in Beachburg, Ontario where there are giant pine trees that tower above the village. At Christmas time they were always heavily laden with snow which made them breathtakingly beautiful! I have so many wonderful childhood memories!
Although it feels like a magical time, it is really about a miracle. The miracle of Christmas is how God became a man in the form of a baby by way of the Holy Spirit. What an amazing story it is! I couldn’t imagine being a young unmarried girl in those days and being told I was going to have a baby, let alone that He would be the Son of God. God chose Mary because of her unwavering faith in Him. The angel appeared and told her (from Luke 1: 26 – 38):
“Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end." Mary obediently told the angel, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”
That holy visitation must have been incredible! There was no doubt in her mind that the child growing within her was of God.
But why would God send His Son to be born of a virgin in such a lowly way? Because God knew our situation was dire. Adam & Eve had already sinned by their own choice in the Garden years before. They had no idea what the consequences would be. By that one transgression, sin was allowed to spread throughout the whole human race just like a virus. This meant every generation that came after that time would be born into sin. The dominion over the earth that God originally gave to Adam now belonged to Satan. The results of this have been catastrophic for our world!
God created us out of love to have fellowship with Him but now that was no longer possible. The price for sin had always been the shedding of innocent blood. Out of that Love and Compassion for us, God sent His Son to be born of a virgin in order to die 33 years later to pay the price for our sin so we could be reconciled back to Him. The love God has for us is unfathomable! Our human minds can never comprehend it. If we choose to accept that Love, the rewards are endless and eternal. When we choose His Love we make Jesus King of our Hearts! That decision means we recognize that we are all sinners… all of us from the richest down to the poorest – God sees us all the same and loves just as we are. Jesus stands with open arms waiting for us to come to him, repent of our sin and accept his Love. He wants us to make Him King of our Hearts. When we do this He destroys the darkness in us and sets us free from our sin. He really is wonderful! He replaces our broken hearts and regret from past mistakes with joy. Not a passing fancy, but true peace, contentment, and lasting joy and on top of that – eternal life. When our bodies can no longer support life, we go to be with Jesus in Heaven. Wow – the “Good News” really is Good! (I’m not talking about religion or good works here, folks. It’s all about Jesus and accepting what He has done for us not what we can do for Him!)
So I encourage you to do as the song says: “Come celebrate for our Saviour has come. Share in the wonder sing Glory to God. Christmas is here, what a joyful time. The Light of the world came, so His light could shine!” We have so much to celebrate and be thankful for. This is what makes it “The most wonderful time of the year!”