Christmas time is upon us, and, once again, we’re filling our calendars. Already, my family has attended a Christmas concert, a piano recital, and two birthday parties. Not to mention, of course, various dentist and orthodontic and hair cut appointments. Without a doubt, December is always a very busy time of year.
Our family also happens to be inundated with birthdays this time of year. My brother’s birthday is December 15th, my cousin’s is the 23rd, my uncle’s is the 24th, and, of course, Christmas, Jesus’ birthday, is on the 25th. After that, there’s my dad on the 26th and my sister on the 28th. Needless to say, we have a lot going on this month!
But my encouragement to everyone in this post is to make sure you’re not too busy.
Make sure you’re not too busy to remember what God did for us this season.
It’s a common message. I’m sure you’ve heard it many times before. We hear, over and over, that we ought to slow down and remember the “true meaning of Christmas.”
But really, when was the last time you just thought about the gospel? I wish I thought about it more. Just this past Sunday at church, I heard a powerful message on the gospel from 1 Corinthians 15. This chapter speaks of Jesus’ death and resurrection. This is the good news.
Why else were the angels rejoicing?
The joy of Christmas isn’t because of the silent night. It’s because of the empty tomb. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:14, “and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.” The wonder of Christmas is in the gospel.
I started out this post talking about busyness, and now I’ve switched to the gospel. You may be wondering how they relate. To answer that, I’m going to give you 1 Corinthians 15:19—
“If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.”
As Christians, we haven’t hoped in Christ in this life only. We have been redeemed! Jesus’ sacrifice has given us the hope of heaven.
Are we willing to slow down and wonder at God’s grace to us through Jesus this Christmas?
My favorite Christmas songs are those that look forward to Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross—the reason He came. Because if the Christmas story ended with the silent night, if it ended with the manger, if it ended with the shepherds and the wise men, our faith would be in vain. If it ended with a dead man on a cross, we would be “men most to be pitied.”
But is doesn’t end there. We worship a risen Savior. Praise God that He was born! But praise God, also, that He died and was raised—for me. For you.
That’s something worth slowing down to think about this Christmas season.
Amid gifts and treats and parties (and birthdays, if my case), remember that Jesus is risen. This is what gives us hope for the future—both the temporal and the eternal. He didn’t come into the world as a baby on that “silent night” to create a hustling, bustling holiday season. He came to die and rise again, for you, for me.
And that’s what Christmas is all about. Don’t be too busy to remember that this December.
“As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives” (Job 19:25).