The Realities of Christmas | The Reality of Christ
Most of us who are Baby Boomers or older have watched the transformation of our culture and the transformation of how American society views and celebrates Christmas. We have watched the controversy over whether we have Christmas trees or holiday trees. We have heard the change in some stores from traditional Christmas carols to no hint of reference to Christ. We have witnessed lawsuits claiming Nativity scenes are unconstitutional. We have seen the uproar over what have been called unjust encroachments upon Christian civil liberties. The truth is that nothing much has changed in 2000 years. The denial of the Biblical reality of Christ continues to stand against all we hold as true and right. The early church faced the same encroachments against the truth of the Gospel. The Apostle John wrote to those he had brought to faith and nourished in the Gospel in order to bring them back to the center, the person of Christ. And with all the “dissing” of the Biblical realities of Christmas, let us use each Christmas celebration as an opportunity to refocus on those realities. And though the Christmas holiday would have been foreign to the Apostle, what He said to those first century believers can do much to lead us to celebrate a Christ-centered Christmas. (See 1 John 1.)
John does not attempt to trace Christ’s earthly roots but His eternal roots. He is “that which ever was from the beginning”. The Lord Jesus was no “Johnny come lately” to the theological scene. He was no mere human personality whose significance and influence could be dissected and distorted by man-made philosophies. He was and is the eternal Word: “the Word of life.” This is the eternal reality of Christ.
Some are apt to lump Christ in with the mythology of Christmas. The search for the “historical” Jesus and other so-called intellectual pursuits are of no help to our lost world. John faced the errors of those who disputed the truth of Christ’s physical reality, and he refutes such outrageous lies. “We were there! We heard Him! We saw Him! We gazed upon Him and gave serious though to what we saw. He did not just pass by us. He tabernacles among us. We touched and embraced Him, this Word of Life. This was no mysterious apparition of fictitious character. It was God incarnate!”(1 John 1:2)
So what are the practical and personal implications of these great Christmas truths? We do not worship a mere phantom or fictitious Christ but a real and risen Savior and Lord. “Fret not over evil doers who trivialize, marginalize, and seek to eliminate Christ from Christmas and even our culture. “For unto us a child is born … the mighty God”. “His name will be Immanuel which is God with us.” ” You shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Yes, the truths of the incarnate Christ are transcendent and spiritual, but they are no less real and personal to those who look to Him in faith. “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift”.