December 25, 2018
A Reverent Christmas
Although we usually associate Christmas with happy celebrations, it’s also an appropriate time for serious reflection about eternal matters. When we’re busy with holiday activities and surrounded by friends, family, food, and fun, it’s easy to forget about the temporary nature of earthly life. Preoccupation with plans and dreams makes death seem distant. But there will come a day when our bodies are laid in the grave and we must stand before God.
The event in Luke 2:21-35 happened just eight days after Jesus’ birth. While Mary was experiencing the joy of being a new mother and the wonder of being chosen to care for God’s Son, she came face-to-face with the pain that awaited her in the future. Simeon prophesied that a sword would pierce her soul (Luke 2:35). Although she couldn’t understand it at the time, this was a prediction of her precious son’s death.
The cross hangs like a shadow over the manger because this tiny baby was destined to die for the sins of mankind—33 years later He bore God’s wrath on the cross for our transgressions so we could be forgiven. His resurrection proved that the Father accepted His sacrifice as full payment for our sins. Now, because Jesus Christ lives, all who believe in Him will permanently live in His presence when their earthly life is done.
In the midst of all your celebrations, don’t lose sight of preparing for eternity. Reflecting on your life, death, and eternal future makes Christmas more meaningful because you understand why Jesus was born. He came to earth to die so all who believe in Him could go to heaven and be with Him forever.
Bible in One Year: 1 John 1-5