The purpose of Christmas

Published 11:45 am Wednesday, December 21, 2016

We celebrate the birth of Jesus. Can you imagine? A little baby boy! A little baby boy caused the world to change.

An angel, Gabriel, announced his birth to Mary, His mother, and Joseph, His earthly father. This little baby boy was not born in a hospital, but in a stable with the animals. Just imagine the sight: my Savior, born in a stable.

Mary wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger because there was no room in the inn. Imagine: no room for the Savior.

Out in the country, shepherds watched their sheep when an angel appeared and the glory of the Lord shined around them and they were afraid.

The angel said, “Fear not, for behold, I bring good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day, in the City of David, a Savior, Christ, the Lord. This shall be a sign to you: Ye shall find the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”

Suddenly, there with the angels, was a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God, saying: “Glory to God in the highest, peace on Earth and good will toward men.”

After the angel left, the shepherds said, “Let us go to Bethlehem to see this thing, which is come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”

They found Mary, Joseph and the baby lying in the manger.

The shepherds told everyone what they had seen. Now, the Wise Men came to Jerusalem asking, “Where is He that is born King of the Jews? We have seen His star in the east and come to worship Him.”

When King Herod heard this, he was worried and called the chief priests and scribes together. He wanted to know where Christ was born. They said in Bethlehem of Judae. Herod asked the wise men what time did the star appear? He sent them in search of the child and said, “Bring word so that I may worship Him, also.”

The star guided them to the young child. When they went inside, they found the child with Mary, His mother. They fell down and worshipped Him. They presented Him gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. Warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they went a different way. That was the beginning of giving gifts, but God gave the best gift of all. He gave us Jesus.

The meaning of Christmas is God’s gift of love and peace to the world.

Mary Simmons is the wife of the Rev. Charles Simmons and a resident of Lunenburg County. Her telephone number is (434)696-2478.