KING COLUMN: The story of Christmas
Published 1:58 pm Wednesday, December 21, 2022
By Bill King
Pastor of Lanier Baptist Church in Lanett
There is a large number of characters and their stories that have sprung up around Christmas. Good characters include Santa Claus and St. Nicholas. Bad ones include Ebenezer Scrooge and the Grinch, but even they turned good in the end. There are characters written for children such as Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. These stories are interesting, entertaining, and even fun, but we must never allow ourselves to forget the real character and the real story of Christmas. The true character of Christmas was not only good but had no bad in himself whatsoever. The real story, and the most important one, is the story of the birth of Jesus. My favorite version of his story is the one recorded in the Bible, written by Luke. I love to share Luke’s story, or the one written by Matthew, every Christmas. Here’s what Luke wrote:
“And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So, all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign to you; You will find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill toward men!’
So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning the child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.” (Luke 2:1-20, NKJV)
Christmas is more than a holiday … it is a holy day. May our Christmas be a time of celebration, a time of giving, but most of all a time of worship. O come let us adore Him? Merry Christmas!