In "A Charlie Brown Christmas", Charlie says, "Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?" Linus does a fantastic and memorable job of telling the Biblical account of Jesus' birth.
“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. And the angel said unto them, ‘fear not, for behold, I bring you tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you. Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in the manger.’ And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, ‘glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men.’”
I'd like to take Linus's story a step further, to explain why Jesus' birth is so important to us. This thought started to grow in me when I came across the following verse in my Bible study: Ecclesiastes 3:11
...God has set eternity in the hearts of men...
Every time I read this verse, the truth of it resonates within me. We can't fully comprehend eternity, but we long for it.
Jesus' birth is a joyful event in Earth's history - a reason to celebrate - because it is a part of God's plan for eternity. When, through Adam and Eve, sin entered the world, it separated God and men. Before Jesus was born, there was no hope of eternity, because the punishment for sin is death. (Rom. 6:23) Jesus' birth brought hope of a Savior to the entire world: for while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom. 5:6)
The meaning of Christmas is explained perfectly in this verse: For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have
eternal life. John 3:16
I think Christmas spurs us to think about the eternal. The indefinable qualities that make up "the Christmas spirit" are qualities exemplified in our Creator: love, generosity, joy and peace. I think the purest joy of Christmas is a glimpse of eternity.
Jesus' birth is celebrated, because it introduced into the world, hope for the eternity that we were created for. Jesus said, "whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life."
Merry Christmas to all my friends and family as we celebrate the hope of eternity found only in Jesus, our Savior.