You know, it’s funny that if somebody is to understand what Christmas is and why we celebrate it, they have to understand who Jesus is and why God sent Him.
In the past, I had done a series about why we celebrate Christmas. The first week I explained to my students why God sent Jesus. The second week was about what kind of a world Jesus came into and why it was the perfect time. The third week I talked about the background of Mary and Joseph (prophecy, messenger to Mary, and I think one year I may have explained a possible connection of Mary with Sarah, how Joseph was going to SECRETLY divorce her and why, etc.).
Before and in the beginning of Seminary, I attended a non-denominational church that originally didn’t celebrate Christmas because neither the date nor even suggestion to celebrate Christ’s birth is actually mentioned in the Bible. They figured that since it was one of the events in which the date was not mentioned, that they shouldn’t celebrate it at all (or always celebrate it, which makes sense, but also runs the risk of pushing it aside as something minimal). They actually thought it was a sin to celebrate Christmas! But after doing these lessons with the students in my later churches (different denominations, too), I realized that in order to celebrate everything Jesus did by coming to us, especially when you look at how intensely the world waited for Him, celebrating His coming would only make sense. And when you look at it this way, then Christmas can only be understood as the time that Christians (not to be used in a generic sense) celebrate the coming of the Messiah, the Savior that God promised from the beginning! (It can also be backed up by John 3:16-17, as well as many others).
So now when somebody asks me why we celebrate Christmas, after knowing all this (everything we went over in Sunday school), I think the only thing we can honestly say is that we are celebrating the long-awaited Messiah who God promised to send, and SENT, in order to reconcile our relationship with Him, as it was in the beginning. Then this could set in as a basis to explain more about who Jesus is, why He came, who sent Him, what we did and what He did about it, etc.
What an awesome holiday! To think, we get a long break from school, work, etc. in order to celebrate the coming of our Savior! How similar to the Exodus this is, for we were once slaves, and now God has rescued us!
Wow, you know, I have to wonder: if everybody understood what Christmas is really about (and accepted it) if Philippians 2:9-11 would actually come about?
Blessings to you in this Christmas season!