The birth of Jesus the Christ is what makes the holiday season the most wonderful time of the year. Read the full account of the miraculous Incarnation in the New Testament Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Let’s look at some elements for why this is part of the greatest story ever told.
1. Action. The angel Gabriel arrives to give Mary a special message. His arrival signifies that God is about to do something and do something big! God is a God of action. He is always busy doing good. Even when it seems that God is silent, He is at work behind the scenes.
From the end of the Old Testament to the start of the New Testament, 400 years passed during which God did not communicate with His people Israel. It was not because He had forgotten them or abandoned them. They had turned away from Him, but He had not given up on them.
For 400 years He was silent, but then God spoke and in the most earth-shattering way. For to us a Child was born. To us a Son was given. He is called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace – Jesus, Messiah.
2. Dialogue. The angel Gabriel tells Mary: The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women. Do not be afraid for you have found favor with God and shall bring forth a Son.
Mary asks: How can this be, since I do not know a man?
Gabriel answers: For with God nothing will be impossible.
The frightened shepherds are told good tidings of great joy: There is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
All of Heaven is filled with angelic singing: Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!
3. Description. Mary hears that her Son, Jesus, will be great. Who was Jesus to Mary and Joseph? Their firstborn Son and also their Savior.
They wrapped Him in what? Swaddling clothes. And laid Him where? In a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
The Magi presented gifts, but not just any gifts – gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
4. Inner Monologue. He did not tell anyone, but Joseph was minded to put Mary away secretly when he found out she was pregnant. They did not say they were, but Mary and the shepherds were afraid / troubled when angels suddenly appeared to them. Marvelous things were said about Jesus; things that Mary kept to herself and pondered in her heart.
Just as God does not only look on the outward appearance, but on the heart; He not only hears our verbal words, but listens to our inner thoughts. He knows what we think before we speak. He knows what we need before we ask.
5. Exposition. The purpose of the Christmas story is to let the world know that a Savior has been born. A Savior was born for the explicit reason of dying so that He could save us from our sins, from ourselves, and from death.
The arrival of the Christ child provided a way for creation to be reunited with its Creator, for God and man to have fellowship again. God with us.
The purpose of the Christmas story is also to let us know that there is hope for our ruined world, a second chance to be all we were first made to be. Grace is everywhere.
The Christmas story reminds us that in Jesus the Christ we find everything we need, anything we want.