I love Christmas Day.
I love unwrapping gifts, listening to music, eating food, and watching our traditional family movies and shows.
Most importantly, we should love Christmas Day because it celebrates the birth of our Lord and Savior.
But what will you do with the Christmas story until next year?
Christmas Day cannot merely be a once-in-a-calendar-year celebration. I love the annual tradition, but every day we must work to remind ourselves of the stunningly magnificent truths of the birth of Jesus.
So, here are three themes that summarize the Christmas story that you can carry with you every day of the year until next Advent season begins:
When you think of the baby in the manger, you have to remind yourself that the baby Jesus came to do one thing: he came to die. And leading to that ultimate sacrifice, everything in his life would be marked by sacrifice.
Just think of the body of that newborn infant, being made uncomfortable by the rough pieces of straw. Even that sacrifice is amazing - that the Creator of all things would be willing to leave the comforts of Heaven and sacrifice physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Why would Christ go to such an extent to help us? Because he loved us, and there was no other way.
The Christmas story confronts our delusion that we’re spiritually in the right place or that we can manage our sin. If we were spiritually right with God or could manage our sin, Jesus would have never needed to go this extent.
As much as the birth of Jesus is a celebratory story, it’s also a profoundly humbling story. God did this radical thing in love because we’re such a mess and so terribly broken.
Every day, we need to remember that his act of rescue was motivated not by what he saw in us but by what was inside of him. We were unwilling, full of ourselves, and wanting our own way.
You have to remind yourself to be honest about what the story tells you about you.
What could be more glorious than the power and authority of God, as demonstrated by this story? Centuries earlier, after Adam and Eve had separated themselves in rebellion, God promised that he would reconcile himself to man once and for all.
For thousands of years, he neither forgot nor turned from that promise. He didn’t grow weary, nor would he be distracted. He made a promise and controlled the events of history (large and small) so that at just the right moment, Jesus Christ would come and fulfill what he had promised.
Think of the authority and power you would have to have to control all the situations, locations, and relationships to guarantee that Jesus would come at the precise moment and do what he was appointed to do!
We just can’t wrap our finite brains around it, but we should try to remind ourselves of his glory and power and authority every day.
Until Next Year...
So today, the day after Christmas, enjoy your new gifts. Make the most of that leftover dinner. Spend time with your loved ones and get excited about making next year’s Christmas celebration bigger and better.
But every day until then, remind yourself of the sacrifice of Christ, what it tells you about your spiritual condition, and the glory, power, and authority of your Heavenly Father who loves you and controls your life for his glory and your good!
Paul David Tripp
- How can you commit today to make next year’s Christmas Day celebration focused on the spiritual just as much as the material?
- Consider all the sacrifice that Jesus experienced during his earthly life. Why should this deepen your affection for Christ?
- Did your Christmas Day activities expose an area of selfishness or weakness? As embarrassing as it may be, confess that sin to those whom you spent Christmas with and ask for their forgiveness. Remember - this is what the birth of Jesus was meant to do!
- How has God shown himself to be powerful and in control in your life recently? By meditating on this aspect of his glory, how can you grow in peace and confidence?
- Continue to look for ways today and this week to remind others about the truths of the Christmas story. Don't wait until December 2019 to celebrate the birth of Jesus again!