Today in a staff meeting, our SLU Executive Director, Emily Pigott, lead a devotion with our team. During that time, she shared a story about when her family was recently putting up Christmas decorations around the house. One of the Christmas traditions in the Pigott household is for her husband Gene and their two boys, Joshua and Jacob, to put up a manger scene somewhere in the house and reflect on the Christmas season's true meaning. While decorating the manger, Emily noticed her younger son Jacob had a decorative cross in his hand and was looking for a cool place to display near the manger. Well, being the amazing Christian mom and educator Emily is, she noticed the cross in Jacob's hand and wanted to encourage him by asking Jacob lovingly, "Why do you have the cross in your hand? Christmas is about the birth of Jesus." But Jacob's respectful and innocent response to his mom was excellent! Jacob responded, "Yes, Christmas is about the birth of Jesus; however, His birth was all about His death." WOW!!! What an accurate response!
I can imagine many of us view Christmas exclusively from the perspective of celebrating the story of the Messiah's birth. But like Jacob reminded his family, that is only half of the story! John 1:1-4 states, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him, nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind." This means that the sovereign God began the story of creation with the end (redemption and reconciliation) in His mind. The full Christmas story is not just about what the angel Gabriel shared with Joseph and Mary in Luke 1:26-38; it is ALSO about what Jesus ultimately did for us all on the cross in Matthew 27:35-50. As Jacob stated, Jesus’ birth, which we celebrate during this season, was all about His death and the fulfillment of prophecy. Jesus’ birth is an excellent reminder of two important points:
- We should never limit our limitless God.
- We should always remember God can make the impossible possible.
The arrival of the Messiah reflects and symbolizes the unconditional love of our Heavenly Father! Ever since the fall of man in Genesis 3, the world had been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Messiah…Jesus!
- The ONE who would come to declare victory over sin and death
- The ONE who would come to redeem and reconcile everything that was broken
- The ONE who would come to give hope to the hopeless, healing to the hurting, and life to lifeless
You see, through the birth of Jesus Christ, God fulfilled His promise and reconciled us to Himself. So, as we reflect, decorate, and sing our favorite songs, let us also take heart and be encouraged to know we have a God who ALWAYS keeps the end in mind! Merry CHRISTmas!