What is the focus of Christmas?
During this wonderful time of year that we call Christmas, it’s easy to forget where our focus should really be. We give gifts and hope for gifts, attend parties and family gatherings, and exhaust ourselves trying to hang on until the decorations are put away and life gets back to normal. We forget, though not intentionally, that this holiday serves a purpose beyond giving and getting things!
So, what is the purpose, or focus of Christmas? It’s the birth of Christ! But even more, it is the reason that He was born.
We could go to quite a few verses to make this point, but two stand out:
1Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
In both of these verses we see that the life of Christ is to serve as an example to us of the way that we should live. Certainly Jesus came to die in our place on the cross as our Savior, but the life that He lived leading up to that event is also important. His life on the way to the cross illustrates the way that we should live and the intended focus of our lives. So, when we come to Christmas and ask the question, “What is the focus of Christmas”, what we should ask is, “What was the focus of the life of Christ?”
While I could give you my opinion, I will let God speak for Himself through His Word to us.
Matthew 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Mark 10:45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
John 13:14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. 16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. 17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
I love all of these verses because they are so clear. Why did Jesus, God in human flesh, come to the earth? To serve His creation! We cannot overstate how important this is. He is God. He, as God, is not obligated to serve us. But He did. He served us by living and then dying on the cross in our place. Why? So that we could have our sin forgiven and enter into an eternal relationship with Him. Jesus came to serve.
So, what should be the focus of our Christmas? Following the example of Christ by serving others.
This is a time of year where the pull toward self-centered thoughts and actions is almost overwhelming. Don’t forget WHO we celebrate and why He came. He came to serve. We honor Him when we live our lives with the same focus as His.
What is the focus of Christmas? Serving others.