The birth of Christ. It’s possibly the most discussed event in human history, as well as one of the most controversial. Some would call it a farce; others have vowed to live their lives proclaiming it. Some would refer to it as a fairy tale; others have literally given their lives defending it. It’s celebrated around the world, although many may not believe in the very event they celebrate. Earlier this month I was oversees in countries that we’d commonly refer to as secular nations or Muslim nations. I was amazed at the amount of Christmas décor that I saw, and the amount of attention that major cities gave to this religious holiday. I’m not certain if most of the leaders of these places know the core event of the holiday they’re celebrating. Whatever your personal stance or belief on the birth of Christ, one thing everyone would agree on is the fact that it can’t be ignored.
If you grew up in America or another nation that commonly acknowledges Christmas as a national holiday, you probably have memories as a child of celebrating this time of year. There were the songs, the decorations, the annual TV specials, the gifts, the North Pole, Santa and his reindeer…so many fun and happy things to remember. And along with all the other joyous things we saw and experienced, there was the Child. Many homes that went all out and decorated for the season didn’t display Him at all. Others would place the Child in the midst of a mass of lit up figurines, and the Baby got lost among the other items. In some homes there seemed to be an effort made to highlight the Baby, setting Him in a preeminent place in the yard. A few made Him stand out in an even bigger way, as they made the nativity scene the only Christmas décor on the entire property.
Now that we’re adults, there’s one big question we each must answer: Where does He stand in your life? He might simply be a fairy tale to you, or perhaps even a farce or deception. He’s not displayed at all in your life, or He’s lost among the other Christmas figurines. Maybe the birth celebrated at Christmas has a more significant meaning to you, but it’s not something that affects your life in any substantial way. You might display Him in one of the better places on your lawn, maybe even right next to the big man himself: Santa! Or perhaps His birth is one of the things that most shapes who you are, as you set Him up as the prominent display in your yard.
As the Baby whose birth we celebrate at Christmas grew up, He spoke many life-changing words. One of the most compelling questions He ever asked is similar to the one I asked earlier in this writing. We find it in Matthew 16:15. It’s just a few words in length, yet your answer to this question means everything. The question He asked is: “Who do you say that I am?” In other words, am I lost among the other brightly-colored items in your life? Or do I hold the place of preeminence? I pray that this Christmas, the birth of Christ will take on more meaning than it’s ever had in your life. As you enjoy the many other things at this time of year, remember the one thing that can truly help you every day of your life.