There’s something about Christmas. At Christmas, even a motorcycle nut like myself longs for snow. That’s rare! We enjoy the same songs, again and again, year after year. Even artists you would never associate with Christianity enjoy putting their hearts and souls into faithful renditions of specifically Christian Christmas Carols. And many, many, people, whether they attend a Christian church or not, enjoy hearing them. There’s something about Christmas. There’s something about the Christmas story that captures the imagination. What is it?
There’s also something about Jesus. There are many things about Jesus that most people could agree on whether they are Christians or not. Though some would appeal to coincidence, most people can recognize that Jesus fits well with Old Testament prophecies. Most would agree that the teaching of Jesus astounded and still astounds today. Most historians agree that Jesus existed, that his birth was unusual, that he died by crucifixion and that his followers claimed to have seen him alive and went about saying such at great risk to their own lives. Most people, whether Christian or not, with enough background reading would recognize the positive impact of Jesus on the world, and upon individual lives throughout the world. There’s something about Jesus that everyone can recognize.
Then of course there’s something about Jesus that we who are Christians don’t just accept, but celebrate. His birth was not just unusual, it was unique, a virgin birth, the incarnation of God Himself: “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 (NRSV) The birth is just the beginning of what is unique about Jesus. His death and resurrection was unique in accomplishing a rescue of great significance, a display of God’s forgiveness, grace, and offer of eternal life.
There’s something about Christmas and there’s something about Jesus. At Christmas we love to go back to the beginning of the Gospel accounts of Jesus and read the story about his birth. It is a story that impacts the imagination. So, knowing there’s something about Christmas, let us go to the beginning of the Gospel of Luke:
Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed. Luke 1:1-4 (NRSV)
It would seem that Luke does not actually begin with the Christmas story. Luke’s intent was not to share a story that strikes the imagination. His intent was to tell the truth. There’s something about Christmas. That something is that it is true.
Sandra, the boys and I wish you a Merry Christmas!