Drippings from the Honeycomb
More to be desired are [the rules of the Lord] than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. (Psalm 19:10)
Christmas—the real Christmas—lies buried beneath so many layers of wrapping, adornments and tradition that it is worthwhile pausing to unwrap it and find true joy.
DEFINING CHRISTMAS | NOUN [krísməs]
The season/day of the year when the birth of the Christ child is celebrated; God’s anointed One, the promised deliverer. In Jesus God took on human form becoming this Christ.
Christmas is two words: Christ and missa; Latin from the worship service’s closing prayer meaning “go” or “send” (i.e. mission). Having celebrated the birth of Christ the early Christians went out to proclaim the glad tidings of His coming. The first instance was in AD 336.
Christmas is an ancient tradition, however it endures as it is real and relevant; God’s rescue plan that enables a relationship for all who repent and believe.
IT’S REAL | MATTHEW 1–2 & LUKE 1–2
Confirmed by ancient Greek, Roman and Jewish sources and faithfully recorded
in the Gospel accounts, Jesus was actually born. A first ‘Christmas’ really happened.
Josephus (d. 100) said, “Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man.”
The biblical author Luke gives more detail by saying, “In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus.” You can read the whole story in Matthew 1–2 and Luke 1–2.
IT’S RELEVANT | JOHN 14:9 & ACTS 17:27
Christmas is not just a quaint old story; nor is God a far off and distant reality. We don’t have to wonder who God is or what He is like or how to come to know Him. Jesus said “whoever has seen Me has seen the Father” and “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” This is because Jesus is the promised Christ, the son of God.
IT’S ABOUT RESCUE | MATTHEW 1:21
Jesus’ name means ‘salvation.’ This is why the angel instructed Joseph to “call Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Mt 1:21).
While Jesus was a wise teacher, ultimately, he was born the Christ not just to teach but to rescue sinners through His life, death and resurrection.
Before Christmas can be seen as good news we must first acknowledge the bad news.
IT ENABLES A RELATIONSHIP | LUKE 24:46–47
As sinners, we do not know God―in fact, we are enemies of God. Yet in His grace God made a way to have a relationship with Him. The appointed means was faith—trust—in the good news of His Son: that God sent His Son, Jesus, who lived and died and rose again so that those turn and trust in Him might receive forgiveness and life eternal through the gift of the Holy Spirit. Through belief in this Saviour we are reconciled with God, adopted and called to live as His children.
When we unpack Christmas we find that true joy and meaning comes not in the trappings but in the offer and ultimately acceptance of Christ. As the carol says, “Let every heart prepare Him room.” May your joy be made complete this Christmas by receiving God’s grace through faith in His Son, the Christ.
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