Restoring the true meaning of Christmas goes far beyond having Christian carols or manger scenes in public places. How many of you know you can have a manger in a courthouse or carols in a mall and still have a heathen nation? Something more has to change in our nation, and it’s not just the externals but the internal.
We might argue that ‘the internal’ is making sure that we remember baby Jesus in the manger. That’s certainly part of it, but I want to go one step more and say that it’s not just remembering Jesus’ birthday. Jesus isn’t in heaven, pacing back and forth, kind of worried and saying, “Man, these guys are forgetting my birthday. America used to really give me a great birthday, and now it seems so diminished.”
No, Christ is not worried about that, and he’s not just wanting us to gather around a Christmas tree with our families and sing carols and remember that he was born. It goes deeper than that. He wants us to acknowledge and understand the true reason for his entire life here on earth and ultimately his sacrifice. He came to set us free from sin and to put us in a right relationship with God. All of those aspects of what he came to do and to give us is what we celebrate in a ‘New Covenant’ Christmas.
In the book of Isaiah, God says, “In a time of favor I have answered you; in a day of salvation I have helped you; I will keep you and give you as a covenant to the people, to establish the land, to apportion the desolate heritages, saying to the prisoners, ‘Come out,’ to those who are in darkness, ‘Appear.’ They…shall not hunger or thirst, neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them, for he who has pity on them will lead them, and by springs of water will guide them” (Isaiah 49:8-10, ESV).
We see in this verse God the Father saying to us that he is going to send his Son, Christ Jesus. The manger, the Bethlehem story, the Luke 1-2 story is a story not just where we celebrate a baby, but that God came into human form for the purpose of the New Covenant being unveiled to us.
This Christmas season, thank God for the New Covenant. Thank God for the liberty that his Son Christ Jesus brought. Thank God for grace, freedom and deliverance.