I asked my very Dear Brother, Pastor Paul Jaramillo, pictured above, to share a Christmas message with us. We love Paul and his lovely wife Pat so very much and their family, which includes their precious congregation. If you live in the Los Alamos, New Mexico area and do not have a Church home I suggest you visit the Open Door Bible Ministry
What does Christmastime mean to me? Well when I was a child it was always about hot chocolate, our silly aluminum Christmas tree my parents put up every year and getting a new pair of pajamas from my god mother and of course the sweet aroma throughout the house of biscochitos and tamales. As I become a young adult I began to also realize that Christmas was more than kissing under the mistletoe and drinking eggnog (yuck). The true meaning of Christmas was much much more than all of this in fact it really had nothing to do with any of it.
You see as we live in this dark world of sin, despair, pain and loss, Christmas time can also be a dreadful time. But despite the trials of life the true meaning of Christmas is designed by God to give us hope, peace and happiness even in dark times something I know for a fact all of the above cannot not bring. The story of Christmas is all part of Gods plan of the great commission of reaching the lost to lead them to salvation (the fix for the sin problem), and based on God’s love for us who have been created in his image, but also on his justice. Sin had to be judged, and the penalty for sin is death. The one required to pay the penalty is the one who commits the sin. Because of human frailty, every single human being has sinned and falls under the judgement of God.
But there was a way for man’s problem to be solved and restore the relationship with God. That solution required a holy sacrifice. It required a man to live a worthy (perfect) life then substitute himself for the guilty sinners as a sacrifice. As no mortal human being could qualify for this role, God determined to come to earth and live life as a human in order to become the sacrifice himself. The man Jesus Christ was this human.
Jesus was born of a virgin by the Holy Spirit. He lived a perfect life on earth which qualified him to become the sacrifice for man’s sin. At the appropriate time, he died on the cross as that sacrifice and rose from the dead demonstrating that he had the power to overcome sin and death. At that point it is left only for individual human beings to acknowledge what God has done and personally receive his provision for themselves.
The story of Christmas is not fiction. God is real, sin is real, man’s separation from God is real, and Christ’s birth, death and resurrection are real. God has done everything necessary to restore man’s broken relationship with himself.
Christmas is one part of that story. We celebrate the birth of Christ because that was the event that put into play the solution for our separation from God. While it is okay to enjoy the various extra-Christian happenings associated with the holiday season, Christians need to be especially grateful to God that he was willing to go through with fixing our sin problem.
So the true meaning of Christmas is just that go out into all the world. East to West, north to south and spread the GOOD NEWS!
Pastor Paul Anthony Jaramillo