(This is a four-article series, Jesus at Christmas, in short 2-3 min. reads, about the person of Jesus and why we need him at Christmas more than ever. We will use the Bible as the main source of truth, but call upon classic publications and authors to assist in providing answers.)
As last minute shopping reaches a fever pitch in local department stores, the crush of shoppers reaches one last feeding frenzy before the presents are revealed. So what’s missing?
To answer this I harken back to Black Friday 2018:
When Thanksgiving is over and all that remains is a refrigerator full of rapidly decaying leftovers, it is time to move on to the next sequential holiday phenomenon. This is known as Black Friday. Everyone begins the race from store to store searching for a bargain that may or not be available again before Christmas.
I am happy to report that my only role in this frantic trek is to serve as designated driver for the convenience of my loved ones to shop until they drop. So unlike the throngs of heavily-bundled, early morning shoppers, my pace was leisurely. There was plenty of time to park and people-watch while waiting for the family to arrive at the checkstand before moving on to the next deal.
One of my many observations was a Mom and her three kids walking past a display. The youngest daughter said, “Mom, what’s that thing over there?”
Mom replied, “Oh, that’s called a nativity.”
The daughter asked, “What’s a danivity (sic)?”
Mom snickered, “No. Na-tiv-I-ty! It’s a display of the baby Jesus…”
The conversation faded as they walked away. But that exchange stayed with me for the rest of the day. Many things came to mind about that conversation. The child was asking because she had never seen a nativity, though she was young. Did she know why the nativity was there? Did she know who Jesus is or why he would be on display as a baby in a retail store? What did all of this mean to the little girl, I wondered?
And though this was merely one little girl asking a valid question, a bigger question within that conversation looms large. The question is whether or not people even understand the significance of the life and work of Jesus, and the significance of how He entered this world. This is one of the questions we will explore:
Why was Jesus’ birth significant? And why was Immaculate Conception important? What difference does it make to me? He’s a cute baby laying all warm with parents, travelers and farm animals present. And it’s a cute story. But it’s just a story…isn’t it?
Find out why this story is just the beginning of the most important story you will ever know. That original Christmas, He was a newborn that arrived in humble circumstances. But he is not a baby anymore. Come back tomorrow and find out why this is significant.
(Tomorrow: Part II, What was Different About Jesus)