I’m sitting at the local Starbucks as I write this article, sipping on a tall cup of Christmas Blend, while seasonal music plays in the background and busy shoppers pass me by. There are strands of lights twinkling in the rafters; boughs of greenery festively hang from the ceiling; and snowmen, snowflakes, and other winter merriment abound reminding everyone of the season (even though it is 84 degrees outside!). I guess nothing says Christmas like snowmen!
All the while, I sit here and read the book The Christ of Christmas by James Montgomery Boice. It is ironic because lest one be diligent in keeping Christ in Christmas it becomes easy for Him to be conspicuously absent. I guess if there was no room for the babe in the Bethlehem Inn two thousand years ago, I should not find it too terribly surprising for there to be little room in our world today.
I imagine that the Bethlehem marketplace was bustling in the days before and after that first Christmas as out of town travelers amassed within the city of their heritage for Caesar’s census. The sights, sounds, and smells may have been a bit different but the seizing of an opportunity to make a buck was the same then as it is today. If I were sitting on the patio of the coffee shop all those many years ago, would I have noticed the young man passing by, leading his pregnant wife through the crowded streets? How could I possibly have guessed that in her womb was the Savior of the world? Yet, that is exactly who Jesus is! He is the Savior of the world, the Son of God, who took on flesh, was born in a humble condition, laid in a manger, lived a perfectly righteous life, was crucified, died, was buried, and is risen.
All of this happened two thousand years ago and most everyone missed it – save the parents, the shepherds alerted by the angels, and a few wise men in a far off land. All of this has been preached and taught and told throughout the centuries since, yet people are still missing it today. They are missing the Christ of Christmas. They are buying presents, sipping peppermint lattes (which are good by the way), and feeling jolly all the while, but they are missing the gospel of Christ Jesus.
May we never miss it! May we never miss the fact that Christ was born of Mary so that He could give us new birth. May we never lose sight of the truth that He first dwelled in a manger so that we can eternally dwell in heavenly mansions. May we never forget that He subjected Himself to death so that He might free us from its clutches. May we make every effort to tell others this good news, especially during this season, so that they may miss no longer the Christ of Christmas.