December 1, 2020
I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Luke 2:10
Our family has a Christmas Day tradition of baking and serving a birthday cake. The cake, glowing with lit candles, is presented amidst a chorus of “Happy Birthday, dear Jesus.” The following excerpt from Rick Warren’s book The Purpose of Christmas, explains why, whether we bake a cake or not, Christmas is a time to celebrate.
Christmas is a party. Specifically, it’s a birthday party—for Jesus—and birthdays are meant to be celebrated. It’s why we say, “Merry Christmas.”
Ironically, at most Christmas parties, the person whose birthday we’re supposed to be celebrating is completely ignored. Although Jesus is the reason for the season, he’s often overlooked or merely mentioned along with Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus, The Grinch, elves, and a long list of celebrated fictional characters.
I took a survey of Christmas shoppers and asked, “What are you celebrating this Christmas?” Most answers had nothing to do with Jesus.
I’m celebrating that I made it through another year.
I’m celebrating being home with my family.
I got a Christmas bonus.
The candidate I voted for got elected.
I’m celebrating that I finished all my Christmas shopping.
I’m not celebrating anything; I’m just trying to survive.
Preparing for Christmas can be a lot of work, especially for moms. With the pressure of buying gifts, sending cards, decorating homes, putting up lights, cooking, and cleaning up, we have little time to actually enjoy the meaning of Christmas.
The first purpose of Christmas is celebration! We learn this from the angel’s opening statement to the shepherds of Bethlehem. God had wonderful news for us that would cause us all to rejoice, celebrate, and throw a party: “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.”
The good news of Christmas is worth celebrating for three reasons. It is personal: “I bring YOU.” It is positive: “GOOD news of great joy.” And it is universal: “For ALL people.” It doesn’t matter who you are, what you’ve done, where you’ve been, or where you’re headed—this news is for you.