What Christmas is all about

Published 8:33 pm Wednesday, December 20, 2017

I read about an exchange student from Indonesia who was spending his first December in America. The crowds of shoppers in the stores, the Santa Clauses, the manger scene, the parties, the growing spirit of excitement-it was all more than a little confusing to him. Then one night the young man turned to his American host and said, “What’s Christmas all about?”

I’d like to offer a possible answer as to what Christmas is really all about.

First, Christmas is about God being with us! All through the centuries, God had tried to tell us of himself. God spoke a syllable to Abraham, Moses and countless others. Yet humankind has been restless, always yearning for something more. “Oh, that I knew where I might find him” is the longing not only of Job, but of the deepest recesses of the human spirit itself. And then, suddenly, there God is on Christmas. As the writer of John’s Gospel stated it, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us… full of grace and truth.” God stepped out of the frame of eternity and into human history.

According to scholars, when John says, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” he’s making an incredible assertion. He’s saying that if you want to know the Divine Mystery, His mind, His heart, and His will, you will find it revealed in the Word, in Jesus of Bethlehem, of Nazareth, crucified and risen.

Second, Christmas is about love being the solution! Many have preached and continue to preach that the greatest power in the world is force. It would oftentimes seem so, because force undoubtedly makes more noise than anything else. However, as Christmas demonstrates, the greatest power is love.

Finally, Christmas is about hope being unstoppable! Almost every news report reminds us of the many dreary problems we face in the world today. So it behooves all of us during this Christmas season to hear afresh a word of hope.

On an island in the South Pacific, there is a church founded by a Christian missionary named Peter Milne. After his death, his congregation placed his portrait in the narthex of the church. Beneath the portrait were these words, “When he came there was no light. When he died there was no darkness.” Such is what Christmas is all about.

Hal Brady operates Hal Brady Ministries in Decatur with the stated goal of presenting the good news of Jesus and offering encouragement in positive ways.