This Isn’t Christmas!!! (Part 1)
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 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. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.”
Many of us have heard this story dozens of time either on television, radio and especially at church but some of us still miss the point. What is the real meaning of Christmas? What has nothing to do with Christmas? Why do we do what we do during this holiday season? Join us as we explore the meaning of Christmas in our new series “This Isn’t Christmas.”
“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.”
In our text, we are shown that the wise men brought gifts. Matthew 2:11 “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” Many people will see that the wisemen brought gifts but if we back up to when they entered the house, we will see that they worshipped Him before any gifts were presented. We as Americans do a lousy job at worshipping God before giving gifts to others. These wise men knew the importance of who it was that they were coming to see before giving Him the presents that they bought. Notice that they did this first! Their priories were in the right place and were decent and in order. Now when talk about their gifts, we are not told where these gifts were purchased or even if there were purchased at all. However, I am sure that these wise men didn’t stand in long lines waiting for the best deal of the year. Now I am not condemning Black Friday activities nor am I condemning searching for the best deals. What I am saying is if we live our entire lives from Black Friday to Black Friday to buy Christmas gifts but miss the real reason for Christmas then I believe that we have misplaced priorities.
What if we spent time making homemade gifts to give to others instead of buying a manufactured, sterile and cold gift? I remember the years of old where families would save all year to hand make gifts for others. Last week, Americans spent over $3.3 Billion dollars on the Black Friday shopping occasion but now with today, Cyber Monday, sales are expected to soar beyond last year’s totals. Why has shopping become more important than the gift? Tradition perhaps? I am not the best person to answer this question but I do know that Jesus Christ has been slowly smeared away from the mainstream shopping facilities in an attempt to increase the sales of non-religious shoppers. We need to focus less on shopping and focus more on the Savior. I realize that getting the gift is important and the best way that we do that, today is to shop. However, let’s not live to shop or shop to live but let’s live for Him as we shop for others. In tomorrow’s devotional we will talk about the personage of the Christmas season. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.