John 12:46 – I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. (NKJV)
Throughout my ministry, Christmas Eve was always a high point of the year, and some years, I put a lot of effort into developing a themed script, illustrated with projected slides. After the children portrayed the nativity story, we would light candles symbolizing Jesus as the light of the world and our task to represent Him as lights in the world. Then we would sing "Silent Night".
So, early in December, one of my jobs was to buy enough candles for the 120 – 140 people in attendance. So there I was, one year, checking out at the grocery store with a full display box containing a dozen boxes of birthday candles.
"You want all these?" the clerk asked.
"Yes, they're for a Christmas Eve Service," I said.
"Oh," she replied, "it isn't for someone's birthday."
"Yes, it is," I said. "It's Christ's birthday!"
Then a fellow behind me in the line said, "Well, you haven't got enough!"
Imagine a birthday cake with more than 2000 candles!
How amazing it is that after 2000 years, we still celebrate Jesus' birthday. But how easy it is to get so caught up in our Christmas traditions and busyness that we forget the fact that Christmas is Jesus' birthday. Imagine holding a big birthday party and not remembering to invite the birthday person! To consciously include Christ, what gift will we give Him? Will it be to forgive someone that we've held a grudge against? Or maybe to extend unconditional love towards someone whom we find it hard to love? Or perhaps we might even pledge obedience to Jesus, who lived and died to pay the penalty for our sins, and rose again to give us eternal life, a relationship with God that will go on forever. Let's make this a special Christmas and truly celebrate Jesus' birthday. It could even include a cake with a white candle and singing "Happy birthday, dear Jesus!"
Prayer: Our birthdays are always special times of celebration, Lord, and Your birthday is an extra-special one. May we accord to You all the honour due unto Your holy name! Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "Silent Night Holy Night" (Lyrics)