I conducted a survey asking people what three words best described Christmas. I received a variety of answers: Jesus Christ, children, stress, Santa, love. Many commented with more than three words explaining how this time of year brings up a plethora of unique emotions: loneliness, good cheer, or a statement that life has not turned out the way they had planned. Goodness, how easy it is to find ourselves in an emotional blizzard. Perhaps we all need a reminder of the broader meaning of this season.
Christmas is more than just a baby coming to earth as God’s Son clothed in a diaper and dwelling among us. It encompasses the scope of who Jesus was, is, and will be. We often forget the “will be” part. Christmas points to Christ’s Second Coming, a time when He returns to destroy evil and reign forever in peace. In fact, the theme of Joy to the World was written as a celebration of Christ’s return: Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let earth receive her King. The first time Jesus came, God wrapped His Son in swaddling clothes and lay Him in a manger; the second time Christ comes, He’ll wear a sash: King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The first time Jesus came, His hands were nailed to a cross; the second time He comes, He’ll reign as fairest of ten thousands. The first time Jesus came, He wore a crown of thorns; the second time He comes, He’ll wear of crown of gold. The first time Jesus came, He delivered up His Spirit; the second time He comes, He’ll live forevermore.
Friends, Christmas is about Jesus, the One who emptied Himself of the comforts of heaven to come to this earth, die on the cross for our sins, and return one day that we might live eternally with Him as royal sons and daughters. It’s a Christmas reality too deep to comprehenend, yet too glorious to set aside.
How does one begin to describe the magnitude of this season? I wonder what three words Jesus would use to encapsulate the purpose of Christmas. When I see Him face-to-face one day, I’ll ask. Until then, how about the cradle, the cross, and the crown. The more I think about that, the more I like it.