We are all familiar with the slogan ‘A dog is for life. Not just for Christmas!’ written in an attempt to stop people buying pets for Christmas presents and then abandoning them soon after because they need a lifetime of care and attention.
Some of us treat Jesus a bit like that. We take him out of a dusty box from the loft at Christmas, stored amongst the decorations and maybe remember that Jesus was born at Christmas and the wise men brought him presents. Let’s have lots of presents – oh and a great feast of food to celebrate, by which time we’ve forgotten all about why Christmas is being celebrated at all, let alone think about the reason why Jesus was born.
We do not know exactly when Jesus was born but through the ages the established churches have chosen to remember it on December 25th. We are told about the birth of Jesus in the Bible, where it took place and the events surrounding it but not when. We know that a host of angels sang in great jubilation at the news of the birth of God’s son, promised by Him for thousands of years. They brought ‘tidings of great joy’ to the shepherds and all mankind. We know that wise men travelled from the east to worship him and bring him gifts. Perhaps the most important thing for us is that he was born to fulfil God’s promise of a new way which leads to our salvation.
So let’s look at the slogan again but this time change the words a little. ‘Jesus is not just for Christmas. He’s for life!’ We should believe in him and have him working in our lives for all of our life, not just give him a passing thought at Christmas time. We can also look at the words a different way. ‘He’s for life’ also means that he can give us life – everlasting life – in God’s promised kingdom if we learn his message of salvation and accept him as our saviour.
So this Christmas let us try and remember amongst all the celebrating that ‘Jesus is not just for Christmas. He’s for life.’
Luke ch 3 vs 13 &14: ‘And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.’
John ch 3 vs 16 & 17: For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.’