This morning Sarah and I celebrated our second Christmas with Oliver, whose 14 months old already! Where has the time gone? We got Oli a few gifts, but what was the highlight of our second Christmas as a family wasn’t what gifts were under the tree but the gift that was given for us who was hung on a tree: Jesus! Last night while Sarah helped Oli put together the Nativity scene made out of stickers I read us the true Christmas story. I didn’t read about Santa Claus or the North Pole. It wasn’t about Elves, Frosty the Snowman or Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.
It was about a little baby boy wrapped snugly in strips of cloth lying in the midst of sheep. We celebrated the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus, who was born to die so that we could live. By hanging on that rugged tree he gave us the gift of eternal life. There’s no greater gift than that. This is the Christmas story I want my son to know. I’m not going to be Mr. Scrooge and not let him have fun with Santa or Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. He will know the truth. Yes, the truth about what December 25th is all about. But I will let him have fun with his imagination. I don’t think God will frown upon a child’s imagination. I pray my son never loses his wonder!
What really convicted me about making sure my son knows about the true meaning of Christmas was when I had the opportunity to participate in a live nativity scene as a shepherd for the Pregnancy Center of Okeechobee just a few weeks before Christmas. I also had the privilege of reading the Christmas story aloud to all who were in attendance a few times. It was a wonderful worship experience! As I stood there, I couldn’t help but think about what took place long ago in Bethlehem. The love that lay in a manger and the grace that would someday come front this divinely wrapped infant. It was a humbling scene and a most gracious beginning. God in human form lying in a manger among the smell of sheep and hay.
It was there God began to stir my heart. I want my son to know the truth. At the end of the day it’s not about the gifts under the tree or the lights up on the house, yes those are all innocent and fun, but it’s about Jesus, Immanuel…God with us.
23 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
She will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel,*
which means ‘God is with us.’ ” – Matthew 1:23
I want to teach my son that Jesus, God in human form, was born as a baby—without losing his divinity but giving up his divine privileges—and humbled himself to a manger. He walked this earth for thirty-three years as a real, living breathing human being. A person. And he’s more important than anything else. Yes, even more important than any wrapped gift under a Christmas tree. He cared so much about people that he took on the likeness of man and died as a man for man—the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. God in a manger is another scene that displays God’s willingness to leave the glory of heaven to come dwell with us for the sake of saving us. He loves us that much!
7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, 8 he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Philippians 2:7-8
I’m excited about the Christmas’ to come as my son grows up. I know God has big plans for him. I pray he not only grows to love the true meaning of Christmas but embraces that baby boy in that manager who grew up to be the One who gave His life for my son’s life…my life…and your life.
To sum it all up I want to make sure I teach my son about Jesus.
Merry Christmas from my family to yours!
– Aaron Hall
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below. Christ