In Touch Daily Devotional 
by Dr. Charles Stanley

Saturday December 17, 2005

The True Meaning of Christmas

GALATIANS 4:4-5

 

Christmas’ true meaning is waning in many hearts and minds. The evidence is a growing use of “Season’s Greetings!” or “Happy Holidays!” rather than “Merry Christmas!” Businesses and individuals who prefer not to mention Christmas claim they don’t want to offend anyone. I say that if the traditional words containing Christ’s name offend, then so be it. People who understand the authentic meaning of Christmas will not worry about displeasing others; they will simply be thankful that they have a Savior to share.

 

Christmas is a celebration of the historic moment when God came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ for the purpose of redeeming sinful man. This story begins not in a manger, but rather in Adam and Eve’s garden. There, the Lord initiated a genealogical line that would remain unbroken throughout centuries of slavery, famine, and turbulence, ultimately leading to the Messiah.

 

Meanwhile, God prepared the world for Christ’s arrival and impact. Roman conquests placed men like Caesar Augustus in charge — his call for a census served God’s purposes by leading Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem, where the prophesied Messiah was to be born (Micah 5:2). And Rome’s influence also led to a network of roads, which would eventually enable Paul and others to spread the Good News.

 

God arranged all of this so that at just the right time, Jesus Christ could arrive on earth as a baby who would grow up to be our Savior, dying for mankind’s sins. We should be truly thankful for Christmas!