What is Christmas?

People tend to see Christmas through the lens of their own worldview. If you were to take a survey asking the question, “What is Christmas?” you would get a variety of answers. Sure, most people globally are familiar with the baby in the manger but even that has become more of a religious icon than a symbol of real faith.

Christmas in its truest sense has a deeper meaning than a simple iconic crèche. Christmas is about the birth of a baby, but we must remember this baby was also the Savior. Jesus the baby came to life, died, and rose again from the dead for the sin of every human individual born into this sin-cursed world. That is the full story of Christmas.

It is a story of peace, love and hope: all things for which this world is desperately looking. Ironically, when Jesus was born in that manger long ago, He knew the needs of this present generation and came to meet them. Every generation is different. Every generation has a different worldview — way of seeing things, asking and answering questions. But one thing has not changed and that is the need for hope.

Dr. Harold G. Wolff made an investigation on the effects of hope on the body for Cornell University Medical School. He said, “When a man has hope, he is capable of bearing incredible burdens and cruel punishments.”

Hope is that spark within which makes you believe when everything and everyone else around you says, “Don’t believe.” Hope can be seen but not described . . . like in the face of:

  1. A child anxiously anticipating an undeclared surprise.
  2. A sleepless, heartbroken man waiting for daylight.
  3. A mother’s face as she prays for her fevered child.
  4. A dear saint’s expression as he bids this world goodbye.

Christmas reminds us of the power of hope. It is a time when people of varying worldviews tend to focus on a singular message like no other time in the year. It may or may not be a religious experience for them; it may just be a warm feeling. But there is that flickering of hope. As believers, we know that hope comes from God.

May we never lose sight of the fact that the reason we have this hope is because of Jesus. He looked over the battlements of Heaven and said, “I must go! They need hope!” Hope cost Jesus something. How lonely Heaven must have been without God’s Son for those 33 years.

Because of what Jesus did – Christmas is a time for us to give hope. Physically, we need to find someone who is in need and give them hope. Spiritually, we need to be diligent to share Christ with family, friends, and the people God places in our path. This is a time to share real hope with them. This is the time to share the real meaning of Christmas.

~Mike Calhoun~

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