By Carol Clemans
Christmas season has always been an exciting time of year for me. I was blessed with parents who loved God, each other and us children. Jesus (who came in the manger as God in the flesh) was the center of our celebration. But I realize in this mixed up world we are living in many children haven’t even heard that Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ! All they know is ‘Santa Claus is coming to town!’
We have the tradition of reading from St. Luke the 2nd chapter the story of Jesus’ birth just before we open our gifts. His birth was foretold by Isaiah the prophet of the Old Testament (Isaiah 9:6). He said that a child would be born and son given. His name would be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace. Jesus was the gift that came to earth 2,000 years ago. His birth keeps on giving the gift of salvation as He went from the manger to the cross to the day of His resurrection.
Without His birth, life, death and resurrection, it would be impossible for us to have HOPE in this life or the life to come. The most precious gift we can give to our children is the gift of HOPE. Toys can be broken, but the gift of salvation can never be destroyed. The reason this gift is so important is that each of us has a soul that will live forever.
When Lucifer, who was created by God as an angel for worship, became prideful and wanted to be ‘as God’, God cast him to the earth with a curse upon him. Lucifer, the devil, knows his end will be living in an eternal Hell. He tempted Eve to sin against the Lord. When she succumbed to the devil’s temptation and enticed Adam who was with her, that act brought an eternal curse on the human race. BUT GOD, who knew before the foundation of the earth that HE would need to come as a sacrifice for our sinful state, already had the plans laid out to come in the flesh as a babe in a manger.
An angel appeared to Joseph (step-father of Jesus) and told him not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife because the baby conceived in Mary was by the Spirit of God. He was to call His name JESUS for He will save His people from their sins. A prophet of old said they shall call His name Immanuel – which is translated, “God with us” (Matthew 1:21 – 23).
The true gift of Christmas is knowing that baby Jesus was God robed in flesh who is our Lord and our God. It is our choice to receive the gift of His life, death and the resurrection. Before Jesus ascended unto heaven, He told the people to go to Jerusalem and wait for His Spirit. It did descend on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2). This is the true gift of Christmas!
Carol Clemans is a Certified Pastoral Counselor/Christian Life Coach/ Bible seminar speaker. She provides nationwide counseling by phone/webcam – www.carolclemans.org