By Thomas Sloan
Christmas has to be one of the most magical times of the year - the joy of decorating Christmas trees with tinsel and lights, Christmas shopping nights with busy streets and carol singers, never-ending evenings of wrapping presents, cosy nights at home watching Christmas movies with family and friends while the cold crispy nights of winter envelop our streets, not to mention the joy of Christmas holidays.
Christmas really is a wonderful time of the year!
But is this really what Christmas is all about or is there something more to this festive season?
Why do we celebrate Christmas; why do we sing carols such as Silent Night or Away in a Manager?
Often at Christmas time we hear these verses quoted from the Bible;
Then the angel said to the shepherds, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.
It all happened in a moment, a most remarkable moment.
That silent night in Bethlehem, 2018 years ago, God became a man.
God had come near and His name was Jesus,
the Saviour of the world.
He came not as a flash of light or as an unapproachable King,
but as a little child wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manager.
BUT WHY DID HE COME?
God, in the beginning, had created a world full of hope, perfect peace, happiness and safety, but sin had come in and caused havoc. We all have been affected by it, so much so that sin has ruined our relationship with God.
But when Jesus was born, so was our hope.
For thirty-three years He would feel everything you and I have ever felt. He knew what it was to feel weak, to grow weary, to feel pain, to feel heartbreak, but most importantly He came to restore everything that sin had broken.
This would require the ultimate sacrifice.
This would require Him to bear punishment for sin.
This would mean He would die on a cross.
Out of His amazing love and grace to you and me, He gave His own life that we might have eternal hope.
The Christmas promise is this: We have a Saviour and His name is Jesus!