I started this blog on Christmas but it has taken me a month to actually finish and post it – please forgive, azafady.
Growing up we didn’t have too many Christmas traditions. We put up a tree but nothing else really sticks out as being the same year to year. The food sometimes changed. The environment changed. The number of people home changed. Celebrations even moved back and forth between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day depending on who was working. I enjoy Christmas but for me it was never a stand out holiday. I’ve always preferred Thanksgiving or 4th of July and the festivities surrounding those days.
This year however, Christmas struck me in a unique way and I think I inadvertently started a Christmas tradition. I have been reading through the Bible chronologically for the last year and a half. This means when it comes to the Gospels, reading the events in each one as they take place. The week of Christmas I was reading the events surrounding Easter – Palm Sunday, Good Friday and the Resurrection – four accounts of these same events.
For some reason, reading about Jesus fulfilling his work here on earth through his death and resurrection gave even more meaning to his birth celebrated at Christmas. I have always read these passages around Easter but never at this time of year. In reality though, we cannot celebrate one without the other. Obviously, if Jesus hadn’t come to Earth there would be no Easter but without his purpose of redemption through resurrection there would have been no reason for his birth at Christmas either.
However, this year I have seen that his birth was so much more than just coming to Earth, there was incredible sacrifice involved. I usually only focus on Jesus’s sacrifice at Easter and am too busy celebrating the joy that his birth ushered in to think about what he had to give up to be born. However, let us not lose sight that in order for Christ to come to this Earth had had to take on a human body and all the pain and suffering that accompanies that – physically and emotionally.
The Word became flesh.
I don’t think Jesus had a human form before his birth in Bethlehem and seeing how he maintained that human form after the resurrection there was no going back for him. It is a bit of a stretch, but I cannot help but think of the scene in Field of Dreams when young Archie Graham steps off the field to save a choking Karin turning into Doc “Moonlight” Graham never to play baseball again.
Christ sacrificed his life to redeem us, me, at Easter but he sacrificed his very being at Christmas. He entered into a fallen, broken world with the purpose of saving a people who rejected and killed him never to return to his previous state. Yes, Jesus is complete in glory but will we ever know the nature in which Christ lived before coming to Earth?
Christmas has now come and gone but in years to come, let us not forget the sacrifice involved in the birth of Christ. Let us not sing the songs of his triumphal entry and overlook that he gave up everything to come and save us and that is why he came after all.