The Christmas season is an opportunity for us to reflect on the first advent of our Savior, even though we may not buy into it as a religious celebration.
Since leaving Catholicism I have lost a sense of obligation to celebrate Christmas with religious significance or requirement. There is no biblical command to celebrate the Savior’s birth, no certainty in the timing of the event, and Christmas has certainly become a cultural celebration.
However, I am not one who wishes to throw the baby out with the bathwater by resisting society’s attempt of a religious celebration that does center on the Lord Jesus Christ. Our world needs all the attention it can get that points to the Savior, and while the biblical command to celebrate Christmas is absent, there is nothing to forbid it either.
I think Bible believing Christians can take advantage of the Christmas season as a reminder that just as the Savior entered into humanity the first time, He will just as surely enter into human history a second time. Hebrews 9:28 puts it this way, “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”
When it comes to the Christmas story the part that I often reflect on the most is when the angels appeared to shepherds out in the fields at night. It’s found in Luke 2:8-11 and verses 8 and 9 it states, “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.”
What encourages me most in this account is the assurance from angel in verses 10 and 11, “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
This is encouraging to me because when fear for the future creeps into my life, I can consider this and realize that the Savior has come and He will be coming again. Heaven has come down to bring salvation and to redeem us from the clutch of its enemy. It is good news.
It also means that whatever challenges we may be facing that brings us anxiety or discomfort or apprehension we too can be encouraged in the good news of the Savior, and the Christmas season should remind us of that.