But the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end. Luke 1:30-33
But any Dad who has ever witnessed the birth of a child nows that once that kid is born, you forget everything!! Where you parked the car, what name you picked out, what day it is, etc. Everything is wrapped around holding a child!! I'm guessing in that moment the angel encounters went out the window, possibly even forgetting what was foretold about the Messiah's life in the book of Isaiah-'He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter...'
All of that was forgotten in this moment-everything was about holding baby Jesus in their arms! And in that moment, for that time, I think it was right that they celebrated this birth. It was right that for that moment Mary and Joseph couldn't have cared less about shepherds, wise men, animals, being in a cave. It was time for these new parents to hold their new baby. But as we know moments come and go.
So what should our mindset be for this Christmas? The birth has come and gone. There are those who believe they have found the cave where the Christ was born. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. But there sure aren't any shepherds there. It's filled with tourists.
I believe celebrating this Christmas means we look at the total story. Why? Because we have it!! Yes our Messiah was born. The savior of the world! But we must team up that celebration with the understanding of why He came. He did not come to win baby picture contests! He came to grow as a man, to teach us how to live, to die on a cross for the penalty not of his sin but mine. And then to rise from death to show me that this life is not the end, but eternity awaits. Death has lost it's grip on me.
So for this Christmas...I will celebrate. The birth, the life, the death, the resurrection of my savior-Jesus Christ.