The Meaning of Christmas


Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”

The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him.

Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

Luke 2:28-35

Christmas may be the most important event of the Christian faith.

Without Christmas, there is no Easter. Without Christmas, there is no New Testament faith. Without Christmas, there is no “God became flesh and dwelt among us.” And without Christmas, there is no “God sent his only begotten Son…”

The meaning of Christmas is this: God became man.

Among all the characters and stories and romanticization of the Christmas story, this central truth of the story carries the most weight: God became man and dwelt among us.

The sheer weight of this reality is so difficult for our minds to comprehend, it becomes easier to focus on trivialities of the Christmas story… or even make up our own stories around Christmas that are less burdensome for our minds to comprehend.

Is there any question why it’s easier to listen to songs about Candy Cane lane and the Five and Ten, or re-watch movies about Elf, George Bailey, or falling in love? It’s just easier to think and dwell on something other than the theology of God becoming a man, but there is a great danger in missing this truth.

Within the Christmas story (Luke 2:34), there is a most important statement made by Simeon, a righteous and devout man.

He said, “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel…”

And this reality about Jesus has not changed—from the first Christmas until today. Jesus causes the rising of some and the falling of others.

Make no mistake, the birth of Jesus does not guarantee peace and goodwill for all men. It also results in the falling of many.

The difference is in what you choose to believe.

The central message of Christmas is this: That God loves you so much, He sent His Son to become a man and dwell among us. That He died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, and that He rose again on the third day. And that through the confession of our sin, we can be forgiven.

And God redeems, lifts up, and calls His children only those who believe and hold firmly to this message. This is how we are counted among those who rise in the end.


Heavenly Father, thank you for your son, Jesus. Thank you for sending him down to dwell among us, to die for us and to save us. May I focus on the true meaning of Christmas this season and lift my eyes to you always. Amen.