“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David… And of His kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:30-33, NKJV).
The Christmas Season means so much more than buying Christmas presents, or the hustle and bustle; the busiest time of the year at work, getting all the decorations out and in place, the endless parties and get-togethers… All of which are good.
I believe there is a sense among most in our society, I’m sure you would agree, that Christmas has a deeper meaning than just a jolly old elf with a long white beard. I would venture a guess that most understand that Christmas is about a baby who came; announced by an angel, born to Mary and Joseph and visited by shepherds and wise men who brought gifts.
All those things are true, but there is a much deeper meaning still. One day, Jesus asked his disciples some probing questions: “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” So, they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah…” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:13-16, NKJV).
Peter, as revealed by the Holy Spirit, understood that day who Jesus was – why He came. You see, Jesus didn’t just come to be honored as the continually celebrated baby, always remaining in a manger, never reaching the full potential God had in store for each of us.
Like Peter, we must receive God’s Gift. Jesus grew up; He fulfilled his mission, which was to defeat Satan and to loosen us from his terrible grip. Jesus did exactly that when He went to the Cross. He became “The Door” (see John 10:9), so the Holy Spirit could be freely received by anyone who believes – this was His purpose – EMMANUEL, God with Us!
Christmas isn’t just about an annual celebration, it’s about a relationship with God; one which He takes very seriously, “For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5, NKJV). Christmas is about realizing who God is to you and allowing Him to be part of your life every day; allowing Him to speak to you and help you solve your problems.
This is Jesus is to me: He is, “My strength and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:4); He is my healer (see Isaiah 53:5); “He Himself is our (my) peace” (Ephesians 2:14, brackets mine); He came to give me “Life more abundantly” (John 10:10); He came to “Redeem my life from destruction” (Psalm 103:4). Christmas isn’t just about the presents, but about His presence in our lives.
This Christmas, I encourage you to come home to the true meaning of Christmas; Come home to the realization of God’s Gift to you; Come home to God’s purpose for your life; Come home to Jesus.
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Rob Granger and his wife, Becky, serve as Executive Pastors of Grace Church San Marcos under Senior Pastors Brian and Melissa Bauer. Located at 855 E. Barham Drive, San Marcos, Grace San Marcos meets at 10 a.m. Sundays and 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays with meetings for youth, children and other groups scheduled throughout the week. Visit www.gracesanmarcos.net for further information.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Times-Advocate.