Where does Jesus stand in your life? This question is for all times, but especially at this time of year.
Christmas means Christ, the Messiah, the anointed one who masked himself in human flesh and came into the world to redeem mankind that we might have life and life everlasting.
Christmas is a time of celebrating what God did for us through Jesus Christ. However, I want to suggest to you that when it comes to celebrating Christ at Christmas, he is often treated like a second-class citizen. From the parties, the dinners, the gifts, shopping, traveling to enjoy family and from the beautiful songs heard, we rarely bring Christ into the center of the celebration.
Have you ever had a birthday and when you got to the party, someone else’s name was called or given more credit for your birthday than you were?
Well, the one time I know that it is done regularly is at Christmas time. It is Christ’s birthday, but Santa Claus gets all the credit. Santa is a legendary figure of Western culture. The modern Santa Claus grew out of traditions surrounding the historical Saint Nicholas, a fourth-century Greek bishop and gift-giver of Myra. However, a real truth has been turned into an unbelievable fable for children.
We must set that record straight because Christ’s coming to the world means so much more. Listen to the prophecy of Isaiah. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
Justly is he called wonderful for he is both God and man. His love is the wonder of angels and glorified saints. In his birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension, He was wonderful. Then, he is the counselor, the intercessor between God and man. He is the one who consults God for the welfare of the children of man.
Furthermore, he is the everlasting Father, our God, one with the Father who is from everlasting to everlasting. He is the author of everlasting life and happiness to them that believe. Finally, Isaiah called him the Prince of Peace. As a King, He preserves the peace, commands peace, and creates peace in his kingdom.
“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matthew 1:23 (KJV).
Emmanuel was fulfilled when Jesus was born for if he had not been Emmanuel— God with us — he could not have saved us. On Christmas Day, let Christ be the center of our attention. Rejoice in his coming into the world to save all of mankind.
The Rev. Carey N. Ingram is the pastor at Lovejoy Baptist Church.