by Edie Melson
I’ve always celebrated Christmas as the time of Jesus’ birth. It’s a joyful time—after all, when is the birth of a baby not a reason to celebrate? It’s marked with angel choruses, gifts of the magi, and celebration to end all celebrations.
In contrast, I’ve always approached Easter as a more somber time—certainly a time of ultimate triumph. But one that was preceded by the agony of Jesus on a cross. To me, Easter was when Christ laid down His life for us.
Now I’ve begun to look at things a little differently.
Recently, I was challenged by a friend to view Christmas in a new light. She pointed out that His birth on earth was when Jesus left His Heavenly glory. The more I considered this, the more sharply I saw the contrast of His life in Heaven. I had always looked at Christmas as a gift—which it is—instead of seeing past the present to the sacrifice it must have been. Jesus’ birth truly was the time when He laid down His life for us.
These are my thoughts on what Jesus really sacrificed by coming into this world:
- He exchanged Heavenly robes for swaddling garments of ragged cloth.
- He exchanged the chorus of angels praising him day and night with the voices of cattle in a lowly manger.
- He exchanged the power and authority of being God in Heaven with that of living as a helpless—fully human—baby.
- He exchanged the protection of angels with the dubious protection of human parents.
- He exchanged immortality with a life that would end in physical death. (Yes, He was fully resurrected, but He had to go through the process of living to dying to reconcile us with God).
- He exchanged perfect—intimate—fellowship with God for a relationship with us.
I will never see Christmas the same way again. How about you?
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. John 15:13 NIV
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Philippians 2:6-8 NIV
This article was brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. She’s a writer who feels lost without her camera and a reluctant speaker who loves to encourage an audience. And she embraces the ultimate contradiction of being an organized creative. As a popular speaker, she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books, including Unruffled, Thriving in Chaos and the award-winning Soul Care series reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives. She lives in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains where she spends time off hiking with her husband and her camera. Connect with her on http://www.EdieMelson.com and through social media.
Join the conversation: What thought brings meaning to your Christmas season this year?