Christmas is a memorial of grace

Published 2:04 pm Thursday, December 17, 2015

By Steve Conwell

Christmas — is it the day or the reason for the day that we celebrate? 

Someone has said, tradition is the living faith of the dead:  traditionalism is the dead faith of the living. 

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The Lord instructed Israel, on several occasions, to build a memorial to His intervention in their lives.  These visible reminders were to recall God’s past mercies and grace that would lead them to rededicate their lives to Him.  They were not to worship the memorial, but instead, worship the One it represented. 

Christmas should cause us to reflect on the true meaning of the occasion. This holiday is a great opportunity to teach our children the real meaning of the “reason for the season.” 

The birth of the Christ Child is the fulfillment of God’s promise to provide a solution for our sins against a Holy God. The name Christ means the “Messiah” (the promised one) mentioned throughout the Old Testament. Jesus, which means Savior, would come to deliver mankind from their eternal separation from a Holy God.

At Bethlehem, the Son of God became the Son of Man so men may become the sons of God. The Christmas story is “Emmanuel” (God with us) when God took the initiative coming to us when we could not come to Him. 

This time of the year we remember the gift of the Savior that is free for the asking for anyone who will receive it.

Christmas is the incarnation of God, meaning God becoming flesh, born of a virgin, tempted in all things as we were, yet without sin. The Christ Child was born to die as a sinless substitute for sinful mankind. The birth of our Lord is the greatest love story ever told, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. … ”

The retelling of the Christmas story should cause us to rededicate our lives afresh to Him. He is the One who was to die for us so we may live for Him. The miraculous conception of Christ is God’s greatest gift, the giving of Himself to humanity, so how can we give Him anything less than our best?

This holiday we will exchange gifts with one other, so what gift will we give Him?  A memorial is to remember God’s provision in the past, but that should lead to a dedication in the present. Christmas should be a time of rededication of our faithfulness to our God who has been faithful to His promise to provide us with a Savior that we might have life everlasting with Him.

STEVE CONWELL, pastor of Maranatha Baptist Church, is heard on WFLO and WVHL in “A Thought For Today.” His email address is