Summary: The story of Christmas has always been the same old story, but it has new meanings, every year!
“They were too busy. The day was upon them. The day’s bread had to be made. The morning’s chores had to be done. There was too much to do to imagine that the impossible had occurred. God had entered the world as a baby. Yet, were someone to chance upon the sheep stable on the outskirts of Bethlehem that morning, what a peculiar scene they would behold. The stable stinks like all stables do. The stench of urine, dung, and sheep reeks pungently in the air. The ground is hard, the hay scarce. Cobwebs cling to the ceiling and a mouse scurries across the dirt floor. A lowlier place of birth could not exist… Meanwhile, the city hums. The merchants are unaware that God has visited their planet. The innkeeper would never believe that he had just sent God into the cold. And the people would scoff at anyone who told them the Messiah lay in the arms of a teenager on the outskirts of their village. They were all too busy to consider the possibility. Those who missed His Majesty’s arrival that night missed it not because of evil acts or malice; no, they missed it because they simply weren’t looking. Little has changed in the last two thousand years, has it?” (Max Lucado).
It’s the same old story – virgin birth, no room for Joseph and Mary in the inn, while shepherds watched their flock by night, suddenly a host of angels appeared with the announcement. We cannot change the story. Maybe we can rewrite it to fit our own hi-tech world. But this old story of the birth of Christ is absolutely amazing that it offers new meanings, every year, and every time we look ahead to it. It is because the meaning of Christmas is forever relevant to the lives of everyone in any situation at any given time. The infinite meaning and significance of Christmas are drawn, not on the world’s ever-changing make up, but from the descriptions written by the prophet Isaiah hundreds of years before.
While going through the grueling effects of global crisis and recession; while struggling to muster the emotional pangs of war; while wrestling against the effects of our domestic problems; what does Christmas 2009 mean to you? Look again to the prophecy of Isaiah (9:6) and you can find what Christmas really means, in the heart of God.
1. Christmas is a Time of Sure Relief
2. Christmas is a Season of Safe Refuge
3. Christmas is a Moment of Solemn Reverence
4. Christmas is a Chance for Sound Rest
The world has commercialized the one event in history that changed the whole of humanity. Around the globe, billions of dollars are spent every year for gifts and props. People are moving in a fast-pace rhythm trying to cope up with the urgencies and expediencies of the occasion. Men and women, young and old, rich and poor, their eyes are glued with anticipation on that day, and the night before it. God came into the flesh in the person of that baby born in a manger that night. His names give us the infinite meanings of Christmas.
1. Christmas is a Time of Sure Relief
"He will be called Wonderful Counselor"
Medical researchers prove that one of the main causes of life-threatening illnesses is STRESS. We are living in a sin-stressed world. We are trying to cure the effects of stress but the root of it can only be healed by the saving and transforming grace of God. Counselors and psychologists, the likes of Dr. Phil., are undoubtedly helpful people that we can approach. But the Christ of Christmas, the Wonderful Counselor, is beyond compare, because:
a. He is always Available.
He is so much dedicated to us. Jesus has all the time for us and we do not have to wait even for a short while if we want his counsels. He waits for us and is always with us, "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matt. 28:20. If you feel neglected and abandoned by people you trusted and depended upon, come to Jesus Christ – He is the Wonderful Counselor.
b. He is always Attentive.
One of most important qualities of counselors is the ability to listen. A person who is empathically interested in you always spares time to listen. God loves to listen to us. He says, "Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." Isa. 1:18. Jesus is very much interested in our well-being. He says, "Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete." Jn 16:24. If you feel ignored and underestimated by the ones you loved and respected, come to Jesus Christ – He is the Wonderful Counselor.