Christmas, for me, is the most fantastic time of year. I love the music and the festive cheer but mostly just how much everyone seems to take a little time to remember each other.
I spent the past few weeks in the shops trying to find that "Perfect Prezzie" for each of my loved ones (and what with my family this proved to be quite an extraordinary feat!). As with every year I was amazed to see all the Christmas decorations that had graffiti'ed the walls and roofs of our shopping centres.
Everyone is always saying that Christmas has become so commercialised and so many cards and songs speak about remembering the true meaning of Christmas.
In my experience there seems to be very vast yet mostly true ideas as to what this "true meaning" should be. For some, Christmas is a time to remember family and friends and those dear to us, while still for others Christmas is a time to reach out and give out to those that do not have the basic needs of life (which in Sunny South Africa seems to be far too many).
For me, and Im sure for most other Christians, Christmas is a time for celebrating the love...
The love of a saviour who was prepared to give His life to give us hope and a future.
Its always been a hard concept for me to grasp...I dont always find it easy to accept love given in the human form, so naturally found love in its truest form given from a God that sees and knows everything about me a little difficult to comprehend...
So for me Christmas is a little reminder of that love...
My pastor gave a seemingly "Easter message" in our Christmas service on Saturday. For some, it seems a bit strange to talk about the death of Christ on a day when we celebrate His birth, but I suppose when considering the very purpose of that birth it becomes somewhat appropriate...
It's hard to imagine a baby being born with the sole purpose of dying a rather gruesome death, but in actual fact, that is for me what Christmas really represents..
For Jesus only came to earth to live as a human with the purpose of paying the price for our sin and making us right with God.
It didn't have to be like that. I do not believe that God, who is absolutely pure and majestic and all powerful, needed us to be saved. I do not believe that any human could add any value to the worth of God, so it raises the question of "Why?".
Why would He choose to save us? And going beyond that, why would He choose to come and live on this earth for a considerable period of time before paying the price that had to be payed?
...When I had these questions on my heart I found the answers in Max Lucado's book, "He chose the nails". (Fantastic must-read!!).
The answer (according to the answers I was given): God payed the price for you and I not because He needed us, but because He loved us so so much that He couldn't bear to spend an eternity without us. He lived on this earth so that in every experience, in every pain and in every battle, we could turn to a Father who would understand our situations not only as a God who has the answers to all things, but as a King who lived through the same battles, felt the same heartache and experienced the same temptation.
So..I ask myself "whats love got to do with Christmas?"... and the answer becomes kind of apparent...