This past week our Worship Arts class was putting together some short videos for chapel. They asked if I would be willing to play a role in one of the videos. I have never had any experience in acting, but I knew it would all be in fun so I agreed. The role they had for me was a cross between Michael Scott from the TV show The Office and the Grinch. I had so much fun with it. After they showed the video in chapel I had students, and even a couple teachers, ask if I really didn't like Christmas. Fear not, I love Christmas.
All three Christmas stories in the Bible focus on slightly different parts of the story. Luke is the Christmas story we are most familiar with as Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem and Mary gives birth to Jesus and lays him in a manger. There is something special about hearing this story over and over again. We know the angels appeared to the shepherds and that they came to the place where Jesus was born.
I love how in the book of Matthew the story of Jesus' birth provides a look into Joseph and how he handled the situation. He finds out his future wife is pregnant and he wants to divorce her quietly so she won't be punished or scorned in any way. Then an angel appears to Joseph and tells him that Mary's child is from God and Joseph is to raise him and call the boy Jesus. So that is exactly what he does. We don't know a lot about Joseph from the Bible, but we see he is faithful, full of integrity and willing to do whatever God asks of him. What an example to follow!
The book of John takes a completely different approach to the Christmas story. John 1:1 tells us, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Then we jump to verse 14 where John tells us, "The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." Through this account we know that Jesus is God and He came to earth to be with us and to save us. I recently heard someone describe it as Jesus came down from heaven and broke into the lives of humans. He is God and He is only here for us, no other reason.
I love Christmas because we know a God who humbled himself enough to take on human flesh. A God who loves us enough to sacrifice everything to be back in communion with us. Christmas is an incredible miracle of God loving us beyond what we could ever imagine and certainly more than we deserve. I love Christmas!