Photo by S&B Vonlanthen on Unsplash

You gotta love Christmas, right?

OK, so maybe it’s not your favorite holiday, but it beats out all the other holidays in a Harris poll:

  1. Christmas – 46%
  2. Thanksgiving – 19%
  3. Halloween – 9%
  4. Independence Day – 5%
  5. Easter – 3% [Source]

Christmas is clearly the front runner, and 85 percent of Americans celebrate the holiday [Source]. That includes people who aren’t Christians and don’t observe the religious side of the holiday. Yet they still love Christmas.

What’s not to love? There are the parties, the foods and delicacies we savor this time of year, the gathering of families, the music, and of course, the gifts. We love the annual traditions. The Hallmark Christmas movies that we men endure are popular because each movie, regardless of the plot, captures all these elements of the season.

For Christians who bemoan the way so many celebrate the holiday without acknowledging the birth of Christ, the holiday gives us a golden opportunity to lift up the purpose of Christmas. It’s not about the gifts, mistletoe, and Santa Claus: it’s about Jesus!

If Linus, a cartoon character, can remind us of what Christmas is all about, we can too.

Let me take this a step further. As much as we love Christmas, Jesus didn’t come to earth to give us Christmas. He came to give us Easter.

Without the death of Jesus on the cross and His subsequent resurrection from the dead, Christmas is pointless. Yes, Christmas is the celebration of God coming to earth, but to what end? His mission from day one was to be a human just like us (but without sin), reveal God to us, die as the sinless, perfect sacrifice for our sins, and then rise again to conquer death and give us eternal life. That’s worth celebrating!

Christmas is only the beginning. Easter is the climax!

Share the Christmas story, but don’t wait until next Spring to finish the story. Don’t leave Jesus in the manger. His birth was the beginning of something fantastic. The mission of Jesus that culminated in His death and resurrection is the good news of Christmas. That’s why the angel could say, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (Luke 2:10).

“When the time came to completion, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Gal. 4:4-5).

Enjoy your Christmas traditions. Hang up the stockings. Eat that extra piece of pumpkin pie. And in it all, celebrate the resurrected, eternal life Christ came to give you.

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This post supports the study “The Savior Who Came to Us” in Bible Studies for Life and YOU.

Join Lynn Pryor and Chris Johnson as they discuss this topic.