What do you like most about Christmas?
"My two favorite things about Christmas are giving people presents and just flat out celebrating Christmas," says Hailey, 9. "I like giving people presents because when they open the present, you always see their face light up with lots of joy. Celebrating Christmas is fun because I know that I'm celebrating Christ's birth. Look, his name is even in Christmas."
If we delight in giving others gifts, imagine the joy God experiences when people open the gift of eternal life. That gift can be received by faith alone in Christ alone on Christmas and every day of the year. It's all because a baby born in Bethlehem fulfilled his destiny to offer himself as a sacrifice for our sins.
As for the name "Christ" in Christmas, many people think that "Christ" is the last name of Jesus. Actually, it's a title meaning "anointed one." The English word comes from the Greek word "Christos." The Hebrew translation is "Messiah." Christians believe Jesus is the Messiah, or the anointed one, whose coming was foretold by the Hebrew prophets.
"What I like about Christmas is the lights," says Garrett, 7. "When Jesus was born, there was a light in the sky."
Everyone is familiar with how the wise men followed the star to Bethlehem, but how many people think of Jesus as the true light who gives light to every person born into the world (John 1:9)? Furthermore, what is the nature of this light?
Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life," (John 8:12). The Apostle John presents Jesus as the eternal Word who became flesh and dwelt among us. "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it," (John 1:4-5).
We have conflict.
Jesus is the light of the world and eternal life in human form (John 17:3). Furthermore, Jesus said he would give eternal life to anyone who believes in him (John 3:16). When the light of this truth challenges the darkness of religious tradition or preconceptions about God, something has to give.
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