Every year when Christmas comes around, people get into “the Christmas spirit.” For some that means re-reading the beloved Gospel stories, listening to Christmas music, shopping for presents, and decorating their homes. It can be a time for re-establishing family ties and celebrating with good friends. For many this season means a brief vacation in the midst of their fast-paced lives.
What is Christmas? It is celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. What was actually happening when this wonderful miracle took place about 2000 years ago? Here are three thoughts:
- God Himself was putting on a natural human form, so that He could show Himself to us and be with us. The angel Gabriel said to Mary, “The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that Holy One who shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35) By “Son of God,” we do not picture a Divine Person separate from Jehovah God, but His own human nature, conceived from God Himself.
- God came down from heaven to clear up people’s confusion over what kind of God He is—not a vindictive God ready to punish, but a loving God, who longs to teach us and heal the sick and broken parts of our lives. The angel said to Joseph, “Thou shalt call His name Jesus, and He shall save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) Jesus means “Jehovah saves.”
- God showed us the pathway to His heavenly kingdom, and showed by His own life how to walk in that path. He said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” (John 14:6)
Our Lord Jesus Christ is with us today, as near as He was to Mary and Joseph. He calls us to follow Him so that He can lead us into a life of love and service.
The New Church has many teachings which can explain what the Lord’s birth has to do with you and me today. We’d love to share the Christmas spirit with you. You are warmly invited to a simple portrayal of the Christmas stories on Sunday evening, December 20th, at 4:30 or 6:00 p.m. at the church on Hawk Mountain Road. There will be readings from the Gospels while people in costume present the stories. It lasts about 35 minutes.
Rev. Lawson M. Smith