Many people have wondered, “If there really is a God, one true God who created all things in this vast universe, including humankind, is it possible to get in touch with our Creator?” Can we really know God? Is it reasonable to believe that God knows us? Jesus says He knows us by name, for He is the Good Shepherd, and shepherds do know their sheep, and sheep know the voice of their shepherd (John 10:3-5). The Bible teaches us that God wants to be in touch with us, and for this reason the eternal Christ was sent into the world to bridge the gulf between this world and the next, and He bridged it with His cross!
In the scriptures of both the Old and New Testaments we are introduced to the true and living God who created us in His own image as spiritual beings, so we could enjoy an intimate personal relationship with Him forever. This is the God who acts, and the God who speaks for Himself. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews began his letter to the young church this way: “In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom he also created the world (see John 1:1-4, and Colossians 1:15-17). He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:1-3).
This is His Christmas story. The author of Hebrews does not mention the journey to Bethlehem, the birth of the Christ Child in a stable, or any of the other details associated with the birth of Jesus that were included in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. He simply wants us to know who Jesus is, the One through whom God has spoken His final word, the One in whom the invisible God was made visible, audible, and touchable (I John 1:1-3) – the One by whom all things were created, and the One who controls the whole created order by the power of His word. Every created thing had its origin in Him (i.e. the Eternal Christ, the unique and solitary Son of God, who became the Son of Man, in whom all “the glory of God” was pleased to dwell in human form). Furthermore, every created thing exists for Him, and is controlled by Him.
So, Christmas is not just the birth of a child. It is the gift of as Son: “Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given” (Isaiah 9:6). Even more than that, we can say Christmas is the celebration of THE DAY GOD WAS BORN, for in Him (i.e. the historical Jesus, the Word made flesh – John 1:14) “ALL THE FULLNESS OF GOD WAS PLEASED TO DWELL” (Colossians 1:19), “IN HIM THE WHOLE FULLNESS OF DIETY DWELT BODILY” (Colossians 2:9). – “THOUGH HE WAS IN THE FORM OF GOD (i.e. “pre-existent” – the same in substance, equal in power and glory with God the Father, possessing all the attributes of Deity) HE DID NOT REGARD EQUALITY WITH GOD AS SOMETHING TO BE EXPLOITED, BUT EMPTIED HIMSELF (i.e. the extreme limit of self-denial) TAKING THE FORM OF A SERVANT (i.e. literally a “slave”). “God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in him might not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16) – that is the Good News of Christmas in a nutshell.
Christmas is the incredible message that God Himself actually visited this planet in the person of the historical Jesus! The mighty Maker of the universe so loved the world (i.e. the whole of His creation, including every sinful human being) that He chose to come among us in the flesh, that we might experience His love, forgiveness, and acceptance. Christmas is the Good News that our Creator, the Giver of life, wanted us to know Him, to love Him, to worship Him, to have fellowship with Him, and to enjoy Him forever. The God we Christians worship is not some remote God, but a “down-to-Earth” God. Yes, God is transcendent, but God is also immanent, our Emmanuel (the word means “God with us”). This is the faith we sing. Our faith has been set to music. God has put a song in our hearts, and we are compelled to sing out, “Emmanuel, Emmanuel, His name is called Emmanuel; God with us, revealed to us, His name is called Emmanuel.”