A Different Kind of Christmas
Key Verse to Read and Treasure
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”—Mark 1:14,15
In ordinary mode the season of Christmas is spent with a praise and festive mentality and spirituality. But if we were to observe Christmas the way Jesus began his ministry, we would be celebratory, reflective, and even have a mind and heart-set of repentance.
John the Baptist had been arrested and Jesus was beginning his public ministry. Immediately he takes up where John left off: calling people to repentance. Jesus was not asking us to live with regret but to embrace newness and change made possible by the coming of God’s gospel, our Savior and redemption.
Because the cross was in the cradle, at Christmas we not only celebrate the birth of Christ but have full knowledge of why the baby came to us. Why God sent his Son—who is the gospel—to earth. As David wrote, “I know my sin. My sin is always before me (Psalm 51:3). When we look into the cradle, we do not look with unknowing but humble reality that our desperate state called for desperate grace. Even at Christmas we can be aware of the call to and need for true repentance that brings change. Is there a better time to repent than Christmas? Is there a better time to embrace the change repentance calls for? Is there a better way to honor the Christ child than taking the gospel to heart?
Jesus, you began your public ministry with a powerful message that continues to this day. Because the cross was in the cradle along with the rags and straw may we be willing to see and embrace it all. Amen
Christmas spirituality could include asking Christ to help you gain a new perspective on life—so you can see everything in the light of the Gospel.