Why are the Christians celebrating?
Christmas time is the most profitable business season of the year. Many stores will gross more than 25 percent of their yearly business in less than five weeks. How did the business world establish such a profitable bonanza?
It started many years ago with Christians celebrating in their churches and in their homes with worship, much singing, festive meals and gift giving. It was a ready made, natural situation for the businesses that gladly joined the merrymaking with enthusiasm. Today this commercial Christmas is understood by everyone, but few really know why the Christians are celebrating.
The celebration centers around the birth of a boy named Jesus. This boy was a descendant of an ancient king of Israel named David who reigned 1,000 years earlier. David was the greatest king of Israel, a godly man, but not without sin. Israel prospered mightily under his leadership. In the generations after his reign, the nation was split by rebellion, declined and eventually was completely destroyed by foreign powers and the people taken into captivity.
During the darkest days the prophet Jeremiah proclaimed, “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.’”
From the time of Jesus’ birth until now people have celebrated the coming of Jesus as the Righteous One, the promised Christ. The night that Jesus was born God’s message was “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” God demonstrated that he has not forgotten his people. Christians cherish God’s faithfulness and take his promises seriously.
God had told Joseph, Mary’s husband, that her son should be called Jesus because he will save his people from their sins. Christians rejoice that Jesus has removed our sin and shame and covered us with his righteousness.
All these blessings that Jesus accomplishes for sinners are possible because Jesus is true man and true God. He had no earthly father, but Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit. Christians celebrate the incarnation of the son of God. There is no greater event in the history of God’s creation. Jesus’ coming is a gift from God the father and the demonstration of his love and mercy for all mankind. Jesus is called Immanuel, which means God is with us. Christians recognize they have been enriched by God’s gift of a savior and joyfully hope to enrich others by sharing with them God’s gift and theirs. Merry Christmas to you all!