Christmas Past, Present, and Future

Merry Christmas

I love Christmas.

You probably wouldn’t know it by observing my activities.

I don’t decorate my house. I couldn’t care less about having a Christmas tree. I’m pretty sure I haven’t gone Christmas shopping in over a decade. I don’t dream of a white Christmas. Sugar plum fairies don’t dance in my head.

We don’t play Santa, Elf on the shelf, or any other reindeer games.

Bah. Humbug.

I will admit that I eat my fair share of Christmas cookies. Otherwise, Christmas for me is pretty much like any other time of year.

So why do I love Christmas?

I love Christmas because I love thinking about the incarnation of Jesus Christ. Our family leads up to Christmas day by reading prophecies about the Messiah. We discuss how they were fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth.

We discuss advent because it is important to understand the glorious truth that is often overshadowed by covetousness this time of year.

God became a man. He dwelt among us.

The uncreated, immaterial, eternal creator of all became a part of His material creation in time.

There are no words that can truly capture the awe that this should inspire. It’s breath-taking. It’s awesome.

In Charles Dickens’ famous story, A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge is transformed by a visit from ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. Much of the current culture that celebrates Christmas forgets all about the incarnation. However, even those who remember the child in the manger often dwell only on the past and/or present.

Christmas surely is a celebration of the past. When God became a man in fulfillment of His promised plan of salvation. However, it doesn’t end there. Christmas is not simply a time of reflection on the past. At least, it shouldn’t be.

This same Jesus who was born to live a sinless life, to lay down His life as the Savior of the world, and to rise on the third day is alive today. Today Jesus is risen and exalted to the right hand of God the Father where He reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Christmas is a celebration and remembrance of what God did in the past. This should cause us to reflect on what God is doing in the present: He is gathering a people to Himself from every tribe, tongue, nation, and people.

Christmas is also a declaration of the truth that God will fulfill His promise completely on a day yet future when Jesus returns. God has been faithful in the past. He will continue to be faithful until the end.

Many of the promises we read about in Scripture are only partially fulfilled. The first advent was act one. Act two is currently underway as Christ sits upon His heavenly throne. Act three will begin when Christ returns.

Christmas is awe-inspiring. It is humbling. It is also terrifying. The fact that Christ came as a baby is proof that He will return with fire in His eyes.

I love Christmas because I love to set my mind on Christ. I love to contemplate His first coming. I anticipate His second coming. I worship Him today and everyday because He is worthy. I don’t care much for the traditions that attempt to contend for my attention this time of year.

Celebrate Christ this Christmas. Be changed by the fact that what our calendar tells us to remember on December 25th is something that should transform us day by day more and more into the image of our Lord and Savior.

If you don’t know Christ let this truth stir you to action before it is too late. Turn to Him and be saved. If you do know Him then I hope you’ll join me in celebrating Christmas all year round – remembering our Lord who came to save us and who will return to gather us to Himself.

Merry Christmas.

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