Denise was asked: Why is it important to read the Christmas story?
Christianity is a miracle from beginning to end. It starts with a miracle because Jesus was born of a virgin. He did so many miracles throughout His life, and then He died a terrible death. Then another miracle took place — He was raised from the dead! Hallelujah! Then, in His glorified body, He was on the earth for 40 days and appeared to many people. He actually breathed the Holy Spirit on the disciples, and they became the first born-again believers — another miracle!
Afterward, Jesus was preaching to His disciples, and He told them to go and preach the Good News. And another miracle happened. As they were all standing there listening to Him, Jesus was taken up to Heaven! An angel appeared and said, “This is the same Jesus, and the way you saw Him leave is the same way He will come back” (see Acts 1:11). Then more miracles occurred as people started getting born-again and filled with the Holy Spirit. And the miracles continue because Jesus Himself is inside us so WE can continue His miraculous ministry.
And someday, oh someday, He is going to return, and He’s going to take us to Heaven with Him. And this is another miracle — He said the dead in Christ will rise first. So somehow God is going to gather all those who have died before us. The power of God will raise them from those graves, and the Bible says that afterward, we who are still alive will be caught up with Him in the air. Miraculous!
This is the greatest story in the world, and it all started on Christmas. So what an opportunity it is for us on this special day to say to our loved ones, “We are going to read the Christmas story!”
Rick and I read the Christmas story with our children when they were young, and now they read the story with their children. And when we all gather together, Rick and I don’t read the Christmas story — our grandchildren read the Christmas story to us!
I remember years ago when we had one of our first Christmas programs at our church in Moscow, and Pastor Rick was shaking hands with people as they exited the church. As one of the older men was leaving, he said, “I have never heard that fairytale before, but that was very nice.”
It was the Christmas story! This wonderful man had never heard the story of the miracle of Christ’s birth or of His resurrection.
I also knew a precious young woman in America named Ms. Edwards. She was about 20 years old when she started especially noticing all the Christmas lights, and this really big question struck her in her heart: Why is Jesus’ birth so important? Because of all the Christmas lights, she thought it must have been a really big deal that Jesus Christ was born. So she asked someone to tell her why it was such a big deal that Jesus Christ had been born. And this person said, “Oh, it’s because He is the Savior of the world. He came to free us from the grip of sin and death and to give us His righteousness and eternal life.” And at that moment, Ms. Edwards prayed a prayer to ask Jesus into her life. Her life was changed completely, and she began telling everyone she could about Jesus.
Whether you are a believer or not, you can find the heart of Christmas in the Bible. It says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes on Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Jesus came to earth for you. And Jesus came for me. He became sin for us so we wouldn’t have to suffer the consequences of that sin. And the Bible says if we believe on Him, we will be saved — just like Ms. Edwards.
Ms. Edwards didn’t know why there were so many lights on display at Christmastime. Why is this such a big deal? she thought. She didn’t know that it was the Savior’s heart to rescue man from being separated from God. She didn’t know until someone told her the story that Jesus came to earth as a baby to live among us so He could take our sin to the Cross that we may have eternal fellowship with God.
Oh, friends, Christmas is a powerful time! Take time to do something special with your family or friends. It doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate but do something to celebrate the miraculous day of the birth of our wonderful Savior — and share the story!