The First Christmas

Monday, December 18, 2017 0 Comments

Merry Christmas! These are words most people love to hear because it means that we are in the midst of a season full of hope and joy. From the wondrous expectations held by children, to the colorful lights that decorate our homes, and the delicious food that we share with friends and family; the Christmas season is certainly filled with joy and hope. 

Of course, all of it is made possible by the event by which the history of the world is measured…the birth of Jesus.   

I have often wondered if the original players of the Christmas story would recognize the modern North American Christmas season as somehow associated with the event that they experienced that fist Christmas night. 

Would Joseph and Mary identify our celebration with the birth of their firstborn baby boy? I am not too convince they would. Christmas in our society has become so merchandized, stressful, and politically correct that there are only faint shadows of the manger in Bethlehem upon our minds during this time.

So, let us remember that the first Christmas was as simple and as humble as it was glorious. The first Christmas was about a humble woman who. while yet a young virgin, bore the indignity of being pregnant out of wedlock. 

The first Christmas was about a humble man who stayed by his fiancée’s side, even though he would probably be blamed by his contemporaries for not being able to wait until the marriage was official. 

The first Christmas was about this young couple who reached Bethlehem a little late for the census and found no room – or were given no room – at the local inn. The first Christmas was about this young couple having to seek out shelter for the night in what was tantamount to a barn.  

Most of all, the first Christmas was about Jesus, who Christians believe, and the Bible teaches, is God incarnate…the Savior of the world. He came to earth to bring peace between God and man. He came to offer forgiveness and eternal life as a free gift. Yet in spite of His divine credentials He was born in a manger (a barn or storage place) in a tiny town, within a tiny nation, on the outskirts of the vast Roman Empire. 

This “King of Glory” came not garbed in royal attire. There was no crown on His head that night. Instead He came in the form of a baby who was eventually swathed by old cloths in a simple manger. It was a scant beginning to the most fantastic life that has ever been lived.  

This Christmas as we busy ourselves with the hustle and bustle of putting everything together for the 24th and 25th of December, let us allow our minds to be taken back to the first Christmas and the real reason why we experience love, hope, and joy, during this season. It is because in a simple and humble manner, God offered mankind the greatest gift we could ever receive. 

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

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