Christmas 2020 will undoubtedly be unique. But maybe that is a good thing. Maybe it will be less hectic and more focused on what really matters. Maybe all the trappings and expectations will seem less important. Maybe we will be better able to celebrate the Child in the manager.
When God sent His Son to earth as a helpless infant, His cradle was a humble manger in a stable. The shepherds and wise men worshiped Him. But when the wise men didn’t return to tell King Herod where the young child was, Herod sought to kill Him. Herod ordered the murder of all the baby boys two years old and under. God protected Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus in the land of Egypt. After Herod died, Joseph was instructed by God in a dream to return to Israel and live in the city of Nazareth. There Jesus grew in wisdom and knowledge and in favor with God and men. (Luke 2:52)
Jesus chose 12 disciples to be with Him. He taught them and sent them out to spread the Good News of salvation. Jesus did many miracles. He was kind and compassionate. He came to heal and enlighten a sin-darkened world. But His purpose in coming was to die on a cruel cross and through His shed blood, make atonement for all human sin, past, present, and future. Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross was the ultimate once-and-for-all sin sacrifice. He is “. . . the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) The spotless lamb sin offerings prescribed in the Old Testament were no longer needed. Those sacrifices in the temple were a mere predictor of the perfect Lamb of God to come.
Forty days after Jesus rose again from the dead on Easter Sunday, He ascended into heaven to be reunited with His Father God. Before He departed He promised to return. Jesus’ first coming as an infant in the manger was the First Advent. Advent calendars count down the days from December 1st until the 25th. But there is going to be a Second Advent when Jesus comes again. He will not be a lowly babe when He returns. He will be a reigning King of Kings and He will wear a crown. No one knows when Jesus will return, but we are instructed in Scripture to be alert and watch the biblical signs. (See Matthew 24)
Though we can't know the timing of Jesus’ return, we can know the person of Jesus…. so that we are ready for His return and are not left behind. A humble prayer of faith is all that is required. We must each acknowledge our sin and our need for forgiveness and cleansing through His shed blood. We must ask Him to be our Savior and King. This is the most important decision anyone can make. With all the uncertainty of these present times, you can make sure of your eternal destiny. Don't put off this decision!