Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Go Tell It On The Mountain"1 (Lyrics)
For a number of years, it has been the custom in our town for merchants to decorate their store windows with a certain theme during certain seasons. There have been a number of different themes over the years at different times.
One day when I was downtown, someone told me that this year, the Christmas theme was going to be "Fairy Tales". Later, however, I heard that the theme had been changed to "Small Town Christmas". In Christmases past, there have been themes like "Your Favourite Christmas Song", "Your Favourite Christmas Movie", and "All I Want for Christmas". Frosty the Snowman was seen in several stores; White Christmas was a popular display; and in the "All I Want for Christmas" theme, the boy with the missing front teeth did well.
Mind you, there are always a number of stores or shops which have Christian Christmas displays. During the "All I Want for Christmas" theme, one of the stores had a large globe of the world in the window with the words, "All I Want for Christmas is Peace on Earth".
Having said that, it seems that every year there are more and more efforts to change the meaning of Christmas in people's minds. Commercialism and Santa Claus are first and foremost promoted, and the real meaning of Christmas is pushed further and further into the background, it seems. Promoting the theme of "Fairy Tales" may only have been a rumour, but I thought that to many people, it would convey the thought that Christmas is just a fairy tale.
To the contrary, the Israelites had been looking for the Messiah for many centuries, when, in about 700 BC, the prophet Micah prophesied that He would be born in Bethlehem:
Micah 5:2 – But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting. (NKJV)
Then, years later, this prophecy was fulfilled:
Luke 2:7,11 – And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." (NKJV)
And then John wrote at the end of his writings:
John 21:24 – This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true. (NKJV)
You see, the birth of Christ is not a fairy tale. The events written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are words of truth, and we celebrate the birth of Christ every year. With the angels, we sing, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" (Luke 2:14 NKJV)
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we thank You for the birth of Christ in Bethlehem so many years ago. How much that means to us here and now! We pray, Lord, that we will be able to celebrate this event with renewed enthusiasm. We offer this prayer in Jesus' name. Amen.