“Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” – Luke 2:34-35
Many people want happy thoughts during Christmas. The birth of a baby is a happy thought.
But then you come to Christmas Eve worship and the pastor spends a good portion of the sermon preaching about sin. You bring your child for baptism and the pastor begins by talking about sin. Why such negative thoughts when all we want are happy thoughts and feelings?
Well, Christmas is indeed a time of celebration and at the center of this celebration is a baby who was born some two thousand years ago. The importance of this baby is not the happy feeling He brought to His parents, but the reason He came into our world.
As Mary and Joseph presented baby Jesus to the prophet Simeon he declared to Mary, not happy wishes, but disturbing thoughts: behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel…and a sword will pierce through your own soul also,
This child was born to die for the sins of the world – your sins and mine. It is because He died that we can receive the forgiveness of all that is not only truly negative, but eternally life threatening. In addition, this baby who becomes the man who eventually dies on a cross also rises from death so that we might have the hope of eternal life through Him.
Sin is the reason for the season and Christ is the One who takes that sin and doesn’t offer short-term happy thoughts and feelings, but overcomes sin, death and the power of the devil so that we can say not “Happy Christmas”, but “Merry Christmas!”
For more about the difference between “Happy Christmas” and “Merry Christmas” see this article.
In case you missed the First Sunday after Christmas message or would like to listen again please follow this link or watch below.
– Pastor Tim