A quarter moon and a star high in the dark night sky cast their silver glow across the sandy terrain. The odor of cattle and hay mixed together with the sounds of lowing cows and the bleating of sheep. A cool night breeze rustled through the sparse vegetation and swirled in through the open door of the stable, wafting back the hair of the new mother and brushing the cheek of the baby in her arms. She smiled through tears and tenderly touched the infant’s hand, gazed into the big, clear brown eyes. The child let out a gurgling noise as his tiny fingers wrapped around hers and Mary felt a swelling sense of love unlike any she had ever felt before.
Joseph stared in wonder. This child was the Son of God; the Savior of humanity. He was the fulfillment of the prophecies; he was the Word become flesh.
A Flesh and Blood God
When we think of Jesus I think we most often think of him as a sort of persona—a distant deity, a cynosure of the past, a figure depicted by various men with beards and long hair in film. However, Jesus was a real man; he lived and walked the earth many years ago just as we do here and now. Jesus was a flesh and blood man; he hungered, he thirsted, he wept, and he was tempted. “But,” you say, “Jesus was perfect!” True, but he still experienced life—the ups and the downs. In fact he experienced a great deal of sorrow and pain in his lifetime. So when you think of Jesus or feel like no one knows what you’re going through, remember that he was a living man and he knows what it’s like. When you pray to Jesus, you’re not praying to some spiritual hotline manned by a heavenly answering system, you’re praying to the living Son of God, who lived and walked and breathed on the earth just as you do now, and he can not only answer your prayers, but also know just exactly what it is you’re feeling.
The word Christ is in the word Christmas for a reason. It stems from two words Christ and Mass; the second being in reference to a church mass. Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. However, today it is nothing more than a holiday for some—nothing more than Christmas lights, wrapping paper, stockings, presents, eggnog, and a house full of family and friends. Well, there’s certainly nothing wrong with these things and, really, who doesn’t enjoy them? However, these are not the reason for the season. They are only traditions of a celebration that began many years ago. As we go about our lives this December and get swept up in the Christmas rush and merriment, let us take a moment to remember what is the true reason for the season and the next time someone tells you “Happy Holidays” maybe you should answer them by saying, “Merry Christmas, I hope you have a wonderful time celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior!”
“The angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all the people. For there is born to you today, in David’s city, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This is the sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a feeding trough.’ Suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army praising God, and saying,
‘Glory to God in the highest,
on earth peace, good will toward men.’ ”