Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Meaning Of Christmas~ A Spiritual Article by Lea Sadler

Snow, vacation, and gifts. December seems to come with a natural right to enjoy the holidays, doesn’t it? With all the time spent on family during Christmas (but don’t get me wrong, family is important) or parties on New Year’s Eve, it almost seems as if we’re “too busy” to think about God. We usually save that for Easter, after planning on where we’re going to hide the eggs. How strange would it be if someone thanked you for only half the gift you gave them? "Oh thank you for the one shoe!" Wouldn’t you want them to be reminded of you when they saw both parts of your wonderful present? "Oh thank you for the pair of shoes!" Think about it, that’s what most of us do to God. Everyone tends to remember God during Easter because that’s when His Son was sacrificed for our eternal life with Him. I know that you’re probably thinking, “Ok, Lea, this is December. So why are you rambling about Easter?” The truth is, you can’t have one without the other, and you can’t have Christmas without the story of when sin entered the world. That’s right; we’re going to go back all the way to Adam and Eve because three stories, The Fall, Christmas and Easter, connect into the history of God’s love.
There was nothing before God. Nothing and no one. Total emptiness, inclusive darkness. Feeling lonely, God decided to create an amazing world complete with laws of nature, breath-taking beauty, and a new form of life: man, created in His image.
God named the man Adam and He was very pleased with His work. But knowing Adam had the need for fellowship, God took one of Adam's ribs while he was sleeping and made woman as a partner for man. (Hang in there! We’ll be getting to more “Christmassy” stuff shortly!)
Delighted with His accomplishment, God sat back and talked with His creation, loving them more than a father loves his children, warning to never eat from the tree of good and evil or they would die, but evil was already lurking in the beginning of time. Narcissistic Lucifer, God’s highest angel, became wary and jealous, wondering why he wasn’t higher than God. He began recruiting angels to follow him, to turn away from God. Since the beginning, God knew this would happen. He threw Lucifer and his demons out of Heaven and created a place for them: Hell. Furious with the defeat, Lucifer brainstormed a mischievous plan to make man fall.
Lucifer came to Eve, the woman, as a snake and convinced her that God did not want her to eat the fruit of the tree of good and evil because she would then know of good and evil. Eve took a deadly bite and gave some to her husband, committing the first sin. This was all fall of man. Being with sin, God could not directly talk to man as He had before sin, but God promised that He would send a Savior, to cleanse them of their sin so that they may live with Him again, one day, in heaven.
Fast forward a couple thousand years to Mary and Joseph. Joseph was a good, Godly man and a hard-worker, pledged to be married to Mary. I’m sure you all know the story about now the angel, Gabriel, told Mary she was going to be the mother of Jesus and how Mary had to have her baby in a stable because “there was no room for them in the inn.” That moment, the birth of our Savior Jesus, is one of the most beautiful parts of the story. Our Heavenly Father sending His Holy Son to Earth to live among us horrible sinners, to teach us, love us, and ultimately die for us. He chose to give His perfect Son because He loved us THAT much! God chose Mary and Joseph to be the parents of Jesus because in humans’ eyes they were prostrate on the caste system and God found favor in them. He wanted the world to see that the King of Kings was for all men and not just for the wealthy.
Which brings us to Easter, the day we celebrate the Ultimate Sacrifice, the three days of Jesus’ death, and that victorious day where He defeated death and again walked on Earth before ascending into Heaven. Can you imagine how much love it takes to send your only son to die and spend 72 hours in Hell for a bunch of non-deserving sinners, especially sinners who God knew would be the ones carrying out, supporting, and celebrating Jesus' crucifixion? I don’t know about you, but I can’t even begin to comprehend how much it wounded God’s heart to see the creation He loved so much torturing His only Son so cruelly.
Ask yourselves now; what is the meaning of Christmas? The meaning of Christmas for some people is just the coming of Jesus into this world, but for me, it’s the whole story of sin entering the world, the need of a savior to live among us, to save our eternal lives from the flames of Hell. God created man, man sins and risks Hell, God sends  perfect Son to Earth, son dies and rises again. In short, I guess that can just be summarized as the gift of eternal life, out of love.

1 comment: