Reasons Why Christmas is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Scriptures: Galatians 4:4-5 ; 2 Corinthians 5:17 ; Hebrews 10:25
by Jacob Abshire on November 30, 2023

In 1963, the pop singer Andy Williams released a Christmas song that is now a cliché more than 50 years later, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” This is because Christmas is a kaleidoscope of wonder. Not even the grumpiest church organist can help but hum a Christmas tune. I want to unwrap for you the true wonder of Christmas by calling your attention to four gifts of Christmas.

The Gift of God

At the core of Christmas lies a truth more profound than any holiday tradition — the Incarnation. This event, which is celebrated each December, isn’t just about a baby in a manger; it’s about the infinite becoming finite, the eternal stepping into time. As the gospel of John captures it, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). Imagine the Creator of the universe choosing to join His creation, not as a conquering king, but as a vulnerable infant. This is no ordinary birth. It’s the divine intersection where God’s grand narrative of redemption touches the earth, bringing hope and light into a world shrouded in darkness.

Christmas is more than a celebration; it acknowledges God’s sovereignty. The birth of Christ wasn’t a celestial afterthought. It was the unfolding of a divine plan foretold through the ages by prophets. This plan, crafted before the foundation of the world, displays God’s unchanging nature and steadfast love for His people. As Paul writes:

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.”

Galatians 4:4-5

Herein lies the wonder of Christmas: God’s promise made manifest, His covenant fulfilled, and His love for us revealed in the most tangible and humbling way.

This incredible act of love, God becoming man, brings us to the heart of Christmas joy. It’s a joy that transcends the seasonal festivities and echoes into eternity. In Jesus, we see the hope of glory, a promise that sin and death have been conquered. His coming assures us that we are not forgotten or forsaken but deeply loved and pursued by a God who would go to any length to bring us back to Himself. This is the message of Christmas, which resonates with a profound joy that turns even the coldest winter into the warmest of seasons.

The Gift of Reflection

As the year winds down and Christmas bells chime, it’s a natural time for us to pause and ponder. This season offers a unique opportunity for believers to reflect on their spiritual journey. It’s like taking a stroll through Bethlehem’s silent streets in our hearts, contemplating where we’ve seen God’s hand at work in our lives over the past year. The Apostle Paul reminds us:

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

2 Corinthians 5:17

Christmas isn’t just about celebrating Chris’s birth; it’s about embracing the new life and transformation He offers. It’s a time to shed the old, worn-out patterns of the previous year and don fresh garments of faith and obedience.

In this season of joy and giving, we’re reminded that the greatest gift we’ve received is the gift of salvation through Christ. This gift isn’t just a one-time event but an ongoing process of renewal and growth. As we gather around the Christmas tree, exchange gifts, and sing carols, let’s remember that our spiritual growth is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season (Ps. 1:3). Just as we decorate our homes and prepare for the holidays, so too should we prepare our hearts, allowing the message of Christ’s birth to renew and rejuvenate our soul. This might mean setting new spiritual goals, recommitting daily Bible reading, or finding new ways to serve in our church and community.

Christmas heralds a time of new beginnings with its message of a Savior born into the world. It’s a reminder that no matter the challenges or setbacks of the past year, we are offered a fresh start in Christ. As the new year approaches, let’s approach it with a renewed sense of hope and purpose, carrying the joy and wonder of Christmas in our hearts. Let’s use this time to strengthen our faith, deepen our understanding of God’s Word, and step into the new year with a renewed commitment to living out the Gospel in every aspect of our lives.

The Gift of Community

Despite our acknowledgment of the church being more than a building, Christmas has a way of making it more like family. Sunday mornings feel a bit warmer. The fellowship hall buzzes with more laughter and shared stories. When the annual Christmas play features shepherd’s costumes that are too big and the little ones forget their lines, every heart still swells joyfully. These moments remind us of the importance of our church community. As the writer of Hebrews encourages us, “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Heb. 10:25). Christmas is a time to strengthen these bonds, to come together in worship and celebration, reminding ourselves that we are part of something much larger than our individual lives — we are part of the body of Christ.

Christmas also calls us to look outward, to extend the love of Christ to others. This can be as simple as sharing a meal with a neighbor, volunteering at a local shelter, or inviting someone who might be spending the holidays alone to your family’s Christmas dinner. Remember, Jesus’ birth was the ultimate act of service — God reaching down to humanity. In the same spirit, we are called to serve and love those around us. “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (1 Jn. 3:18). Let this Christmas be a time when our actions reflect the love of the Savior, whose birth we celebrate.

Also, Christmas is a time of generous giving and gracious receiving, mirroring the greatest gift ever given — Jesus Christ. This doesn’t just mean exchanging presents under the tree; it’s about the gifts of time, attention, and compassion. It’s about being present in the lives of others, offering a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on, or a helping hand. These gifts often hold more value than anything wrapped in shiny paper. As we give and receive this Christmas, let’s do so with hearts full of gratitude, remembering that every good and perfect gift is from above (Ja. 1:17), including the cherished gift of our community and fellowship.

The Gift of Tradition

Christmas traditions, from decorating the tree to singing carols, can be more than just festive activities; they can be meaningful expressions of our faith. Consider putting a unique twist on these traditions to reflect the story of Jesus. For instance, when decorating the Christmas tree, each ornament can represent an attribute of God or a name of Jesus found in the Bible — The Good Shepherd, The Light of the World, The Prince of Peace. This turns a simple activity into a teaching moment about the character and work of Christ.

Consider involving the family, especially children, in Christ-minded activities during Christmas. Create a nativity scene together, with each family member playing a role in telling the story of Jesus’ birth. Or, have a family night where you read the Christmas story from the Gospels, allowing each family member to share what this story means to them. These activities unite the family and anchor the season in its true significance. It’s a way to ensure that amidst all the excitement and celebration, the focus remains on Jesus Christ, the reason for the season.

As we engage in these Christmas traditions, let’s intentionally keep Christ at the center. Whether through special devotionals during Advent, attending Christmas Eve service, or simply taking a moment each day to reflect on the gift of Jesus, let’s ensure that our celebrations are rooted in gratitude and awe for the miracle of His birth. Let this be when our homes and hearts are filled with more than just holiday cheer, but with the joy and peace that comes from knowing and celebrating our Savior.

Wrapping up …

As we wrap up our Christmas celebrations, let’s carry the joyful hope this season embodies. The wonder of Christmas lies not just in the festivities but in the truth that we find eternal joy and peace in Christ. His birth was more than a historical event; it was the dawn of a new hope, a promise fulfilled, and a life-changing revelation of God’s love for us. 

As we take down the decorations and step into the new year, let’s challenge ourselves to celebrate and truly reflect on the birth of Jesus and its impact on our lives. Let’s hold onto this hope, allowing the joy and wonder of Christ’s birth to illuminate our lives every day, not just during the Christmas season. 

This Christmas, take a moment to share this message with someone who might need a reminder of the hope and joy that Christ brings, spreading the true spirit of Christmas, not just in our homes and churches but wherever we go, making the love of Jesus known to all.

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