The meaning of Christmas

The Christmas season prompts questions.

What’s the big deal about the baby in the manger? Who was he? What does his birth have to do with me?

Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem and the Bible tells us he came to bring love, joy, peace, hope and forgiveness for our sins.

God showed how much he loves us by being willing to come to Earth as a baby, born in a barn, in a small town called Bethlehem. There is no place he won’t go, no person he can’t reach. His love is beyond anything we can imagine, and it’s for every person.

The angel in the Christmas story said, “I bring you good news of great joy for all people.” With all the busyness that Christmas brings we can be left wondering where the joy is. Joy is not something that can be found in lights, presents, food and family. They may bring happiness for a short time, but joy comes from knowing that the king of the universe loves me and has a plan and purpose for me.

The angels sang, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on Earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.” The word for peace in the Bible is shalom which means “May you be healthy, whole, and complete. May you know where you fit in the universe, and may you find tranquillity there.” When you know where you fit into God’s world, that you are loved and treasured by him, when you have a relationship with him, you will find peace.

“They will call him Emmanuel, which means God with us.” God is with us. In every situation and circumstance, good or bad, God is with us. Nothing can keep him from us. He invites us to be with him. Hope was born with Emmanuel, God with us.

Joseph was told to call the baby Jesus, because he would save his people from their sins. Because Jesus was born my sins can be forgiven. Christmas begins what Easter celebrates. The baby in the cradle became the King on the cross. My guilt and shame can be wiped away. Jesus offers mercy and forgiveness. A new start. A clean slate.

This Christmas ask God your questions, and allow him to answer you with love, peace, joy, hope and forgiveness.

Damien Heres

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