Christmas 2021 is here. The negative opinion is that Christmas has already been ruined. Ruined by lingering COVID variants. Ruined by rules mandated for travel and ruined by supply-chain interruptions and more.[i] There is even a Santa shortage. [ii] As we look at changes brought about from two years of the pandemic on the loss side, you may agree that Christmas is ruined for yet another year. As Christians, we only ruin Christmas if we allow it.
We must always keep Christ as the real meaning of Christmas. If Christ is the center all the peripheries can fall away. Christmas remains strong when the heartbeat is the prophesy of Jesus’ birth fulfilled.
Change is inevitable. Kids grow up, people move away, friends pass away. If we admit it, we have never experienced two identical Christmases. Yet, we strain our emotions in attempting to create that perfect sugar-plum experience. Hallmark movies by the dozens are consumed and we are often let down when our big day does not match Hollywood perfection. Clark Griswold in his frenetic race to create the best family Christmas ever finally conceded that “It’s the Christmas star. And that’s all that matters tonight. Not bonuses or gifts or turkeys or trees. See kids, it means something different to everybody. Now I know what it means to me.”[iii]
Stripping away the commercialism of Christmas and resting in the sweet acceptance that Christmas is the miracle of miracles is the heart. It beats with the star, the virgin birth, Christ dying on the cross and rising again. It’s the ultimate culmination of prophecy. It’s the past and the present and the future all coming together. The completion of the story.
The heart of Christmas lies in the fulfillment of prophesies. These are the true miracles of Christmas. The virgin birth is perhaps the most distinctive event of the Christmas story. It is the most difficult for many people to understand and accept. As with other miracles found in the Old Testament, God displays Himself uniquely before men. He sets his message apart through miracles. Miracles are “otherworldly”, not explainable by man. “Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14)
Prophecy also names the lineage of Jesus. God’s promise to Abraham is revealed in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
Lowly Bethlehem receives its role in the Christmas story in Micah 5:2, “But you, Bethlehem…out of you will come one who will be ruler over Israel.” Through these ancient scriptures the Magi were able to trace the birth and travel to Bethlehem. In Matthew 2 we find their story as they follow the star to the prophesied King.[iv] Prophesy of the birth of Jesus and His life are scattered throughout the Old Testament.
Christian, allow the beat of your Christmas heart be the wonder of prophecy fulfilled. The miracles of the place, the star, the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
[i] https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/why-christmas-2021-already-ruined.html [ii] https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/02/us/santa-shortage-holidays-cec/index.html [iii] https://parade.com/945876/kelseypelzer/christmas-vacation-quotes/ [iv] https://reasonsforhopejesus.com/wise-men-still-follow-his-star/