What does Christmas mean today? We often think of presents all wrapped up with pretty wrapping paper and bows. Kids get the toys they wanted all year. We decorate our homes with Christmas trees that have all sorts of ornaments. We see Santa Claus with his reindeer and sleigh in stores and on TV. Businesses are closed so people can spend time with their families.
We have sometimes even gotten away from calling it "Christmas". We now also refer to this time as the "Holiday Season". We also say "Happy Holidays" and "Seasons Greetings" instead of "Merry Christmas".
What are we celebrating?
We also sometimes see nativity scenes. A nativity scene is a symbol. A symbol represents something, so what does it represent?
The true meaning of Christmas is about Jesus' birthday. Jesus died on the cross so we can have eternal life(John 3:16). He took the punishment for our sins that we ourselves could never completely wipe away.
The Gospel of Luke has the most about the birth of Jesus. It describes shepherds being guided to Jesus’ birth place by an angel:
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 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. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a 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. (Luke 2:8-14 KJV)
We spend time and money getting gifts for Christmas. However, God gave us the best possible gift, the chance to have eternal life through Jesus. How often are we reminded of this around the holiday season? Society has for the most part lost its way and the true meaning of this holiday. Perhaps the best way to summarize is this line from the movie The Perfect Gift:
What if the world threw you a birthday party and you weren't invited?