This is a profound statement. The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords became a man - in the form of a tiny, helpless baby. He came down from Heaven where He was all-powerful and humbled Himself to the point where others had to care for him. He did all of this for one reason. He loved us so much that He wanted to give His life for us. No greater love has ever been witnessed in history.
For some reason, my wife loves Hallmark Christmas movies. She says it's because they don't have the features that most movies sport these days: foul language, sex, and violence. I get that. But to me, they all seem to have the same plots. Either it's a man and a woman who can't stand each other at the beginning of the story, but who eventually fall in love, or the movie has some version of a Santa figure who changes everyone's lives.
The thing that most bothers me about these and most other Christmas movies is the constant talk about the "Christmas spirit." This is variously defined as giving, being nice to others (for a few weeks out of the year), unity, parties and general good cheer. There's nothing wrong with any of these. But these are secular concepts.
The real spirit of Christmas manifests itself when we honor when we honor the King of Kings and Lord of Lords Who left Heaven to dwell among us - and save us.
Why do we give gifts? Because God gave us the example by giving us His most precious gift - His only begotten Son. The three wise men then gave gifts to the baby Jesus. We have followed that tradition by giving three gifts to our daughter at Christmas.
Why do people try harder at Christmas to be at peace? (See the wonderful article "Silent Night, Holy Night" in this issue. It's about a time when soldiers laid down their weapons and fellowshipped on Christmas Day.) It's because Jesus is the Prince of Peace. If everyone gave their hearts to Him and followed him, there would be no wars.
Why is there more unity and joy at Christmas? Because everyone - even those who are not born again - understands at some level that Jesus came to redeem mankind to God. Redeemed men and women are full of joy because they have found their purpose in life.
This year, let's all try to make it CHRISTmas instead of the Xmas the world promotes. Don't get caught up in the frenzy of buying gifts you can't afford, to impress people who don't need them. Give meaningful, thoughtful gifts that you can afford without incurring credit card debt. If your family is like so many that squabble at holiday gatherings, be the peacemaker. And don't forget to reach out to the poor and homeless in your area. If you didn't receive one present or one invitation to a holiday celebration, you are already blessed immeasurably more than they are. Why not spend the money you would have spent on gifts to bless the unfortunate ones. Tell the people you would normally buy gifts for that you spent the money blessing someone who really needed it. I'd be surprised if you got anything other than positive reactions.