“… But the angel reassured them. ‘Don’t be afraid!’ he said. ‘I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! … Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.’” Luke 2:10-11, 14 (NLT, second edition)
From the angel, God’s messenger, we learn how to make the most of Christmas:
Make it a time for celebration!
“Good news … great joy!” Christmas is a time to celebrate all that God has given us and done for us. It’s a time to set aside your problems and pressures for a moment and focus on God. If God wanted to communicate to birds, he would have become a bird. But he wanted to communicate to human beings, so he became like one of us and came to Earth. Now we can know what God is like because Jesus tells us.
Of all the ways God could have come to Earth, he came the same way every one of us did — by a birth. Why? Because he didn’t want us to fear him, and no one is afraid of a baby! Christmas says God wantsyou to know him.
Make it a time for salvation!
“Your Savior was born …” If we needed information, God would have sent an Educator. If we needed more government, God would have sent a Politician. But what we need most is salvation, so God sent us a Savior. What is “salvation”? It’s forgiveness for my past, power to manage my present problems, and a guarantee for my future. But like any gift, you must accept it in order to benefit from it.
As a young man I worked as a lifeguard for three summers. I learned that you can’t save people until they stop trying to save themselves. We must stop trying to save ourselves and instead trust Jesus to be our Savior.
Make it a time for reconciliation!
“Let there be peace …” Christmas is a time to seek to restore those broken or strained relationships. It’s a time to say “I’m sorry” and “Will you forgive me?” It’s also a time to offer forgiveness to all those who have hurt you.
First you make peace with God, and then you receive the peace of God. Once you have that you’ll find it much easier to make peace with other people.