We take prayer out of schools, remove the 10 Commandments from courts, promote Black Friday shopping hysteria, create new words like “Jesus freak”, tolerate everything, and then, remove Merry Christmas from our vocabulary because “we don’t want to offend anyone.”
If we believe that Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ (mas), then we should know a little bit about this man.
1. Malachi 4:5 says, “I will send you the prophet Elijah, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord comes.
2. In Matthew 1: 20-23 Joseph and Mary are given instructions about the coming baby to be given the name Jesus, who will save his people from their sins. “He will be called Immanuel which means, God with us.”
3. Before Jesus begins His ministry and “going about His Father’s business,” he went to be baptized by John the Baptist. When John saw Jesus he knew what he was dealing with. In Matthew 3:11 John the Baptist says, “I baptize with water for repentance. But after me will come who is more powerful than I, whose sandles I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”
4. During Jesus’ baptism, as described in Matthew 3:13-17 verse 16 states, “…he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lightening on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.’”
5. After the baptism, Jesus began the ministry of preaching about the “coming” kingdom of heaven. In Matthew 16:13-16 the question of who Jesus is was asked of the disciples, “When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’” In verse 15 Jesus asked, “But what about you? Who do you say I am? Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’” Peter spoke what was revealed to him by God the Father.
6. In Acts 2:36 , after Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, Peter addresses a crowd who is witnessing a group of (Jesus) believers being filled with the Holy Spirit. He concludes with this statement, “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord, and Christ (Messiah).”
7. In Acts 2:37-39 the crowd responded to what they saw and heard, “When the people heard this they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles. ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’ Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.’”
What does all this mean? Well, it does not mean the beginning of the shopping season marked by “Black Friday.”
There is no way to define Jesus or Christmas in one blog post. It will take a lifetime to read, ponder and enjoy. As I only touch the surface of who Jesus is. I see that He is the Christ, the Lord, Immanuel, God with us, Son of the living God, more powerful, forgiver of sins, and baptizer with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
For me, this means Merry Christmas is the understanding that we are loved by God AND His Son Jesus, and we should be very merry about it.
I pray that you have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed coming year. May you accept the forgiveness that Jesus offers and the gift of the Holy Spirit he promised. May His love be your light and your hope. May you find the knowledge of the kingdom of heaven. And may all your Fridays be white…..as snow.