Three Reasons I Love the Christmas Season
By Kenneth R. Samples
As the song goes “Christmas time is here.” People are busy shopping, baking, and reliving their special Yuletide traditions. For many churches, the Christmas traditions include Advent ceremonies.
Advent, which means “coming,” is the celebration of Jesus Christ’s first coming into the world to rescue sinners from God’s inevitable just wrath and the anticipation of his hoped for second coming. For congregations that follow a traditional Christian calendar, the church year is a cycle that celebrates the great events in Jesus’ life. Because the believer’s life is now wrapped up in Christ’s life, part of the church’s purpose is to commemorate the glorious events of Jesus Christ’s time on Earth.
One of the most recognizable features of Advent is the traditional wreath and candles. To commemorate each of the four Sundays of Advent, churches light a candle in the wreath, culminating with a special Christmas candle. At my church, Advent also includes special readings from Scripture and carol singing.
Many people, believers and nonbelievers alike, cite Christmas as their favorite time of year. I’m no exception. I look forward to Christmas, or Advent, for three reasons.
1. I love what Christmas reminds me about my faith.
Christmas is about celebrating the great truth about the Incarnation (God has come in the flesh). The baby of Bethlehem was Immanuel (“God with us”). Christmas commemorates the truth that the second person of the Godhead, the eternal Word and Son, left his lofty estate of heaven and entered the world of time and space and became man. As the Apostle John notes, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14). Christmas, therefore, reminds me of the logical order of my faith.
The triune nature of God makes the Incarnation possible. God’s three-in-oneness (one What and three Whos) makes it possible for the second divine person to take a human nature and become the God-man.
The Incarnation makes the atonement and resurrection possible. Because Jesus is both God and man (a single person with both a divine and human nature), he is able to serve as the redeemer of lost sinners by representing and reconciling both parties (holy God and sinful man). And because our Savior is the God-man even death cannot hold him…
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