Wrapped in swaddling clothes is the gift of forgiveness
What a great time of the year – everywhere we look there are decorations, caroling, gifts, feasting, wishing of good cheer and excited children waiting in line to sit on Santa’s lap to present their “hope list.” All these things are the ingredients of a celebrative Christmas mood.
Yet, in the midst of all this apparent joy and excitement there will be tragedy. People will miss the real reason for the season, the birth of the One who can make a difference. It is this miraculous birth that Christmas is about. In the writings of Saint Matthew, we are instructed that “Mary will give birth to a son and he will be named Jesus because he will save us from our sins.” This promise is the reason for our celebration.
Of course, we have to have faith and believe that Jesus came to save us from our sin. The Apostle Paul affirms this in the book of Romans. He writes, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”
This is what Christmas is all about. This is why we celebrate the birth of Jesus. This is why we at Exciting First Baptist Church of Minden/Gardnerville have provided a live nativity scene for our community. It is our hope that the nativity would remind us that Jesus is the reason for the season and that we need to make room for the Christ child in our hearts, the one who came to save us from our sins.
After all, the word Christmas means “celebration of Christ.” Thus, Christmas is far more than trimmings, tapestries, trees and tinsel. Christmas is about the Eternal reaching down to us mortals and declaring, “My children, here I am. Clothe yourselves in Me. Be forgiven. Walk in newness of life, and live with me forever in My perfect life for I have come to give you life, eternal life.”
Let us not forget then, that the true meaning of Christmas is found in the manger. In this manger we find wrapped up in the swaddling clothes the gift of forgiveness and eternal life. These are gifts we can all experience if we will comply with Scripture which says, “Whoever calls on the name of Jesus will be saved.”
In the midst of your celebration this year, make room for Jesus and remember Christmas is about Him, more than anyone or anything else! Have a Merry CHRISTmas!
Editor’s note: Pastor Rene Joseph Houle is pastor at Exciting First Baptist Church in Minden.