I find myself smiling every time I'm able to say "Merry Christmas" to someone in a store, or at work. It's a reminder of what this holy day we're soon to celebrate is all about. Signs and decorations proclaiming "Jesus is the reason for the season!" are great--and I agree with them--but do we ever stop to think about why Jesus came to earth?
God became flesh, taking the form of a human baby, so he could live as one of us...and die.
Jesus was born to die.
That was the goal of his life: to give it up in order to save ours. To draw all people to himself. To conquer sin, death, and the devil once and for all.
That baby lying in a manger, born in a humble stable, coming into the world naked and bawling? Just about thirty-three years later, he would be humbled in another way--nailed, naked, to a rough wooden cross, hung high for all those around to see. He would give up himself willingly--and Satan would think he had won.
But then, three days later, he would rise again. His body would be whole and perfect. And those who loved him proclaimed the news joyfully--He is risen! Just as the angels had proclaimed to the shepherds--He is born!
Humbled, in order to be glorified.
Born, to die...and then live.
God made man, so that man could live eternally with God.
Emmanuel...God with us.
That, my friends, is the reason for this holy season. That is what Christmas is all about.