What comes to mind whenever someone says the word, Christmas? Does your mind run to presents sitting under a decorated tree? Lights on your house beckoning you home? The shopping list you’ve fallen behind on? Maybe you're reminded of your favorite Christmas carol that keeps playing on repeat in your mind over, and over and over again (Anyone else had enough Mariah Carey to last a lifetime?).
For many of us in the United States, Christmas is simply a cultural holiday celebrated by both Christians and non-Christians alike. Whether it be writing letters to Santa, exchanging gifts, or baking cookies…the holiday traditions are endless. But what is the deeper meaning behind all of these Christmas celebrations? What is it that causes nearly half of the world’s population to pause for one day each year, on December 25th?
Within the Christian faith tradition, Christmas stands as one of the cornerstones of the entire faith. This day is set aside to celebrate the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. If we turn to the Bible, we find that a Jewish historian and physician named Luke recorded the narrative of Jesus coming into the world (Luke 2). He tells us that an engaged couple from the town of Nazareth, named Mary and Joseph, were visited by an angel. They were told that they would have a child even though Mary was still a virgin. And, nine months later, after a difficult journey to her hometown of Bethlehem, this young girl gave birth to a baby boy named Jesus in a stable.
Though historians don’t know the exact date of Jesus’ birth, December 25th became the official day of celebration dating back all the way to 336 AD. For the last 1700 years, all around the world Christmas has been enjoyed by billions of people. But what is it that is so special about the birth of a small baby boy from a small town so many years ago?
GOD AMONG US
The simple answer is the fact that Christianity didn’t exist before the birth of Jesus. One of the things that causes the Christian tradition to stand apart from all other world religions is the belief that God came down from Heaven to live among man. For Christians around the globe, Jesus is not simply another baby boy, he is instead considered God incarnate—God in human flesh. In other words, God did not send a prophet. He did not send a sacred text. Instead, He sent himself.
John, another Jewish historian, wrote that, “God so loved the world” that he came down into the world. That is what is being celebrated each year at Christmas… that God loved the world enough to leave the safety and security of Heaven to dwell in human flesh.
Eventually that little baby boy from that first Christmas morning grew up to become a man. He spent three years as a traveling preacher. During that time he shared some of the most world-changing insights on life and faith, which are still taught to this day and core to Christianity. More has been written on the person of Jesus than any other figure in all of human history. In fact, our entire calendar system (BC vs AD) was developed around the year of His birth.
Simply put, regardless of what you believe about Jesus, his birth changed the entire world. What’s special about Him though, is that he is more than a historical figure. At the heart of the Christian faith is this idea that God wants to know and be with you - today. He wants to do life with you - today. You can actually have a personal relationship with Jesus - today. Wondering how that’s possible? Maybe alongside all of the Christmas traditions you celebrate this year, there is room to discover who Jesus is to you? Check out our resources below if you want to keep exploring.
By: Zach Taylor
Zach is passionate about sharing inspiring stories of God's goodness with His people. Before joining Liquid Church’s Teaching Team, Zach has served the local church as a pastor for 15+ years in the greater Los Angeles area, as well as West Palm Beach, Florida. He, his wife KC-Rae, daughter Wynter Storme, and dog Khloe love to travel together. Fun fact: Zach is a natural entrepreneur and together with his wife, owns dozens of AirBnB's across California, New Jersey, and Florida!
To learn more about Jesus, Christmas, and other additional resources from Liquid Church, check out the content below:
🔶 NEW TO FAITH?: If you’re interested in learning more about Jesus and what he may even mean for your life, we want to come alongside you and help you find out more. Check out LiquidChurch.com/New to take the next step on your faith journey with Jesus.
🔶 MESSAGES: Watch messages about Jesus from Liquid Church on-demand through our YouTube Channel, click here.