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The Birth of Our Lord

(Luke 2:4-21)

Lesson 4 -- first quarter 2001
December 24, 2000

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2000, Christian Light Publications

What are you doing for Christmas?

Christmas. For most of us, this means a surge in things to do and places to go. We've got family reunions, meals and activities. We also have school and church Christmas programs. We might even squeeze in a community event or two. Of course we can go caroling. Oh, and we must get to all that shopping and gift wrapping, plus cards and letters, and maybe a family portrait to circulate.

Christmas. For some of us, this also means a concerted effort to resist that surge in things to do and places to go. Some choose to minimize Christmas in their lives; others simply reject Christmas activities altogether. Most take this stance due to the godless commercialization of the holiday or to its pagan origins.

Whether we somehow observe the holiday (or whatever you prefer to call it) or whether we turn our backs on it to one degree or another, we must regard it or not regard it to the Lord (Romans 14:6). We all need to ask ourselves, "What does Jesus want me to do for Christmas?" After all, as far as we're concerned, this is supposed to be about Him.

I think we could get some ideas from the Scriptures. So since Christmas is supposed to remind us of His first coming, let's consider some reasons He gave for His coming to earth.

"I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). Our Christmas activities should be especially geared toward abundant living. In fact, we could also say that these activities should result from that abundant life which Jesus has given us. (Let's keep in mind that an abundance of stuff and activities is not synonymous with abundant living!)

"The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). Amidst all the celebrations, gifts, parties, merrymaking, pretty lights, programs, joyful carols, shopping and whatnot there are thousands of lost souls. Jesus came to seek and save such; do our activities take that into account?

"I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me" (John 5:30). Jesus' statement of surrender to the will of the Father didn't happen for the first time in the Garden of Gethsemane. His whole life was a statement of surrender. He came to seek the Father's will and do it! Though Christmas isn't the only time to do God's will, it does seem an especially pointed time to do so.

"I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness" (John 12:46). We see the darkness around us all the time. We might even be particularly aware of it during a holiday that's supposed to be about the Light of the world. We can bemoan and shake our heads at the darkness, trim our lamps, and huddle together under our bushels, enjoying our programs and fellowship. Or we can sally forth into the highway and the byway and even the superhighway to shine our lights in the darkness of the world.

So, what are you doing for Christmas?

He is coming again!

Why is it that so many people want to remember His first coming but show little interest in or concern about His second coming? As I write this, Christmas is almost exactly six months away. I hope that by the time Christmas comes upon me again I will remember His second coming along with His first.

I challenge us to remember His second coming from this angle in particular: "When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8).

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