Warren, Rick (2008). The Purpose of Christmas. Howard Books, pp. 10-24. (Don’t panic; most of those pages are pictures!)
Based on the angel’s pronouncement, Rick Warren cites three purposes of Jesus’ birth. The greatest holiday on Earth is a time for celebration, for salvation and for reconciliation. We begin by examining Christmas as a time for celebration.
The carol asks, “Shepherds, why your jubilee?” What, exactly, will we be celebrating on December 25? A few paid days off from work? That the planning, shopping, cooking, decorating frenzy of the past month has finally come to an end? These are reasons the world celebrates Christmas. But what about those of us who know the Savior’s birth as the unfolding of God’s gracious plan?
When we celebrate Christmas, we are celebrating the nature of God. The bedrock truth revealed in the manger is that God loves us. For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten son. Through the prophet Isaiah, Christ foretold His purpose in coming to Earth:
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted; to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor (Isaiah 61: 1, 2).
The joy of Christmas is that the Creator of the universe loves us with an everlasting love. He loved us more than He loved His own life. Pause for a moment and think of the glories of nature. Now think about the fact that God’s love for you far exceeds anything our human eyes can see. Cause to celebrate, indeed.
May you feel His grace today,
The last Word:
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man . . . but God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5: 6-8, NIV.