Letter: What does holiday mean to God? (Dec. 21, 2022)
December 21, 2022
With a population of 9,828 people in Sweet Home, Christmas can mean a lot of different things to so many different people.
But what does Christmas mean to God, in his own words, the one who gave us the reason to have such an occasion on the calendar?
In his word, the Bible, it says, “The angel said to Joseph... she (Mary) will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus for he will save (emphasis) his people from their sins.” Matt 1:21 (NLT – Initials in parentheses indicate various English translations of the Bible.).
“The angel said to the shepherds, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy for all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior (emphasis), who is Christ the Lord.’” Luke 2:10-11 (ESV)
The prophet Simeon said, when he met the infant Jesus: “Lord... I have seen your salvation (emphasis) which you have prepared for all people.” Luke 2:29-31 (NLT)
Later in the Bible, Jesus himself states: “For God so loved the world he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but to save (emphasis) the world through him.” John 3:16-17 (ESV).
Then Paul the apostle wrote: “If you openly declare Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved.” Rom 10:9 (NLT), Peter, another apostle, preached, “There is salvation (emphasis) in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved (emphasis).” Acts 4:12 (NLT).
These are things stated about Jesus by angels, prophets, and apostles, but the Son of God had this to say about himself: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. John 14:6 (NLT)
Also, “I am the resurrection and the life; the one who believes in me will live, even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe in this?” John 11:25-26 (NAS)
So, my fellow citizen, what is God’s meaning for Christmas? My personal summary is this: It’s an unparalleled rescue mission! The world is in peril and everyone who has ever been in it, but the good news is that God gave his Son to save (emphasis) us. He is the only one who can save us. And my hope is that all 9,828 of us will consider his words this Christmas season and answer his question: “Do you believe this?”