The True Meaning of Christmas


"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was made nothing that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men: and the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness to give testimony of the light, that all men might believe through him. He was not the light, but was to give testimony of the light. That was the true light which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His won received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them He gave power to become the sons of God: to them that believe in His name: who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God...

And the Word was made flesh,

and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1-14

Sleep, Holy Babe
A Christmas Carol

Sleep, holy Babe, upon Thy mother's breast,
Great Lord of earth and sea and sky
How sweet it is to see Thee lie
In such a state of rest.

Sleep, holy Babe, Thine angels watch around,
All bending low with folded wings,
Before the Incarnate King of Kings
With reverent awe, profound.

Sleep, holy Babe, while I with Mary gaze
In joy upon that face awhile,
Upon that loving Infant smile
Which there divinely plays.

Sleep, holy Babe, now snatch Thy brief repose,
Too quickly will Thy slumber break,
And Thou to lengthened pains awake,
Which death alone shall close.

Let us not forget the greatest Christmas gift of all...

"For God so loved the world, as to give His only begotten Son, that whosoever should believeth in Him, may not perish, but may have everlasting life."
John 3:16

What a reminder of the perfect example of giving, of love, of innocent Child, Who we think of, helpless and innocent in the manger, knowing what His destiny will be. The epitome of purity and innocence...a baby. But not any baby--the divine Infant, Christ Jesus, Who was begotten without sin, lived without sin, and yet died the death due a sinner...Who took on the punishment for us all, so that we may be saved. And think of Mary and Joseph, looking down upon their Son, knowing all the prophesies spoken of the Messiah, and knowing at least in part, the sorrows He was someday to endure.

What a great gift of love and sacrifice it was for Mary to say "yes" to God when she was asked to carry the Son of God, knowing the ridicule she would endure, knowing the sorrows that would pierce her heart. How many among us would want to have a child, knowing in advance, and for certain, that horrors and sorrow would befall our child, and that we would have to watch and suffer in silence? And yet, in perfect obedience, she did not question, but simply said "yes". St. Joseph, too, must have had such great faith. Knowing not only that his Son would suffer greatly, but that he, his foster-father and the leader of the family, would be able to do nothing to protect Him. He took on a great burden for the love of God. He was told in dreams to take Mary as his wife, to flee with his family to Egypt, and eventually to return to Nazareth. Each time, he simply obeyed.

Love, sacrifice, and redemption. These are the true gifts we should cherish this Christmas season. This is what Christmas is all about.

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