My wife and I and the 5 kids, if asked what our favorite "tradition" is during the Christmas season; it would be decorating the tree. When we get home from cutting this grand fir, I usually find the need to cut 2-3 feet off the tree as I fail to estimate the height of our ceiling! Next we pull out the decorations, which over the years, has grown to enable us to decorate at least 3 or 4 trees! We start all of this by playing Christmas music and finish by watching "White Christmas" while drinking way too much eggnog. I'm sure you have your own unique and precious "traditions". While I love the joy, the gifts and memories of our family traditions at Christmas, for me they are not the end all to what Christmas truly means.
For me the true meaning of Christmas is first and foremost a remembrance of unconditional love so great and so wonderful that I cannot fully comprehend it. It is celebrating the greatest gift (a gift is unearned, that's why it's called a gift) to all mankind from a loving Almighty God who loved the world so much He gave His only Son, Jesus, who came to restore our relationship with God as our Father. Jesus was born miraculously to a poor virgin girl and breathed His first breath lying in an animal's feeding trough. It always amazes me the way God shows us how He sent His Son Jesus into the world in the humblest and meekest of ways to proclaim that this gift was for the poor, the downcast, the hurting, the rejected, the undeserving, the forgotten, as well as the rich and famous; any and all who would receive God's free gift of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Jesus came into the world to give love, salvation, forgiveness and eternal life for the sinner, which all humanity finds in common. We gave Jesus nothing, yet He gives those who believe in Him every good and perfect gift.
In Luke 2:14 the angels proclaimed: "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests."
From our family to yours; may you find a profound joy and peace celebrating Christmas this year and always!
Blessings, Greg Quinn lead pastor Toledo New Life Church