The Bible in Practice: Experiencing Christmas

What does Christmas mean to you? A fun party with the family or more? Perhaps the words: wonder, preserve and praise come closest to the essence of Christmas. What does the Bible say about this? The reactions to Christmas vary and can be profound. How do you experience Christmas?

Christmas according to Luke

Luke, one of Jesus’ disciples wrote about how the shepherds (at that time the outcasts of society), Mary and others experienced Christmas (Luke 2: 820). This is about praising, admiring and preserving:

Not far away, shepherds spent the night in the field, keeping watch over their flock. Suddenly an angel of the Lord stood among them, and the light of the Lord enveloped them, and they were terrified. The angel said to them, ,Do not be afraid, for I bring you good news of great joy and great joy for all the people: today in the city of David your Savior has been born., He is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be the sign for you: you will find a newborn child wrapped in a cloth lying in a manger.

  • Praising God ,And suddenly there was joined to the angel by a great host of heaven, praising God , saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to all those whom he loves.’ When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ,Let us go to Bethlehem and see with our own eyes what has happened and what the Lord has made known to us., Immediately they went and found Mary and Joseph and the child lying in the manger.”
  • Astonishment and Keeping “When they saw the child, they told what had been told them about the child. All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them, but Mary kept all these words in her heart and kept thinking about them.”
  • Praising and Praising God “The shepherds went back, praising and praising God for everything they had heard and seen, just as it had been told them.”


Possible explanation of Christmas

Jesus was not born in a palace, but in a manger. There was no room for Mary and Joseph in the inn (a night’s lodging). The Roman Emperor Augustus had given orders that a census should be held throughout his empire. As a result, all overnight accommodations were fully booked.

So Jesus came into the world on the same level as the poorest, the shepherds. These shepherds – as the outcast of that time – would not have come quickly to a house or a palace. But now they could see Jesus first. This means that Jesus came for everyone.

  • Praise Jesus later said to his disciples: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. (Luke 6:20).” This means that the simple-minded are more open to the message of Christmas: honor God for peace and good will towards men. Indeed, a great multitude of angels praised God with these words: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to all those whom He loves.” The shepherds believe in God and go to the baby Jesus. When the shepherds returned, they too were praising the goodness and greatness of God. That’s Christmas.
  • Wonder The people who had encountered the shepherds heard about the miracle of Christmas. For them, this amazement will be able to grow into faith and expectation. Something that sometimes becomes stronger at Christmas, but can also continue if the true meaning of Christmas is understood.
  • However, Mary kept the words of the shepherds in her heart. She pondered them, reflected and contemplated on the word of God. Later, during Jesus’ speech to the crowd, a woman raises her voice and shouts, “Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts from which you drank!” But Jesus says, “Happier are those who hear the word of God and live by it (Luke 11:27-28).” Closely related to this are Jesus’ words about prayer: “Ask and it will be given to you (Ask and it will be given to you).” He indicates the importance for people of praying to God.


Conclusion reactions to Christmas

The reactions: amazement, praise and preservation at Christmas are very different. Yet they are all profound and you can experience them all at Christmas. But also the rest of the year.
Experiencing the thought of Christmas ultimately also has to do with trust and surrender, allowing the light of God to shine through you.

read more

  • The Bible in practice: worrying
  • The Bible in practice: confidence in life

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