is, second only to Good Friday and Easter, the singularly most important religious holiday that is celebrated. It is true that Christmas, to the secular world, has been commercialized with thoughts of Santa, spending money and giving gifts that may or may not have any bearing on the holiday itself. It has become a day about getting, getting more and then being disappointed in not getting enough. But to those of who hold Christmas in our heart for what it truly means, it isn’t about getting at all, but giving. It is the celebration of the Virgin birth of the Christ child. Now, it is no surprise that there will be many who will scoff at this. That is not unexpected or taken in offense. I know, in my heart and soul, what I know in my heart and soul. It brings me great pleasure to honor Jesus at the celebration of His birth. To revere Him for the Savior that I personally know Him to be.
It is a beautiful image in my mind to think of a sweet little baby, wrapped in swaddling clothing, lying in a manger that is normally used to feed farm animals. As it has been taught to me by wise teacher, swaddling clothes were usually reserved for females in order to depict the suffering that they would endure through childbirth. To find a male child wrapped in swaddling clothing was simply not done. But Jesus, more than any woman bearing a child, would suffer. And not only would He suffer, He would do it willingly.
I can think of none of the children in my life, not my daughter nor my nieces, that I would sacrifice for anyone, much less a sinner, a murderer, child molester, thief. Not a chance. I would sacrifice myself before I would offer up any of those little ones dear to me; and only then as a trade. But willingly? I cannot fathom. Nor can I fathom knowing the day and the hour that I would have to turn my back on any one of them, leaving them to fend for themselves while I remove myself from from their suffering because that was the only way to obtain the redemption that their death would bring. It would be hard enough losing a child unexpectedly, but to know, day after day, that the time was drawing near. I cannot fathom. Were it up to me, it is quite obvious that mankind would be doomed to die in their sins for at the last moment, I would balk. I am, after all, only human.
I find it, therefore, an honor and privilege to revere the Christ Child and the Father who was willing to sacrifice Him for my sins. I’ve heard it said that God is callous and cruel, but what an enormous amount of love it would take for mankind in order to make Him turn His back on the Son He loved just so that we might be redeemed. Nothing callous about that. It is, without doubt, love in its purest form and I can only hope that, as I go along this life I’ve been given, I can give as unselfishly as my Father and my Savior.
2 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered
.7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.