“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name ‘Immanuel,’ which means, God is with us” (Matt. 1:23).
This Christmas day we celebrate the birth of Christ and are reassured that in the child of Bethlehem, God is with us. This is the meaning of the prophetic words: “And they shall call his name Immanuel” (Isa. 7:14). Immanuel means “God is with us.”
Just imagine, however, what would happen if Jesus Christ had not been born in Bethlehem? What kind of world our world would be? In a world without Christmas there would be no Christmas stockings, no Christmas bells, no Christmas wreath, and no Christ to comfort our hearts, to bring happiness to our lives, and to save our souls.
In a world without Christmas there would be no churches, no crosses pointing to heavens, there would be no Gospel, no promises of hope and salvation, and no Christmas carols to be sung by grateful people.
In a world without Christmas there would be no message of consolation at funerals, no promise of glorious resurrection for our loved ones, and no hope of life eternal with God in heaven.
But, there is Christmas, for Christ was born and God is with us. So, this Christmas, let us be glad and celebrate with joyful hearts because Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem and the God of glory is present with us.
On this Christmas day, let us remember the words of the angel: “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).
On this Christmas day, a great shout of joy and praise calls on believers everywhere to proclaim the coming of the Savior:
O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold Him born the King of angels;
O come, let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him, Christ, the Lord.
On this Christmas day I pray that you and your loved ones may enjoy a peaceful and blessed Christmas. Merry Christmas.
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary