The following editorial by Pastor Jason Carmean of the Lexington, OH Grace Brethren Church appeared in this morning’s Mansfield, OH newspaper:
I wake up on Christmas morning with the anticipation of homemade cinnamon rolls and a fresh hot cup of coffee knowing that there are gifts under the Christmas tree with my name on them. I enjoy opening my gifts, and I would wager a guess that we all do.
I also love to give gifts. To see the look on my wife’s face when she opens the gift that I put an extra amount of thought into that she has no idea she is getting makes my day. To have my two young daughters tear into a gift that daddy bought them could almost bring me to tears. It brings joy to my heart.
The prophet Isaiah also told us of the real gift that we would all receive. Isaiah 9:6 says, “To us a child is born, to us a son is given.” Oftentimes we read that and our mind automatically goes to the child and the son. We know that he is talking about Jesus. We know that his birth is the reason we celebrate Christmas.
I’m glad that is often our focus, but what is repeated in that verse is “to us.” The child and the son are born to us. That’s good news.
Isaiah knew of the gift that we were going to receive about 700 years before Jesus came. Now, 2,000 years later, we can look back on that gift and know the gift was for us.
God knew that as long as he stayed in heaven he would not be known. People would know about him, but they wouldn’t know him. God wanted that to change. I think he had the plan for Jesus to come all along, but 2,000 years ago, God sent the child to us.
He didn’t look like God at the time, he didn’t sound like God at the time. I think that is why people missed him. He wasn’t what they were expecting. The child is born to us. The son is born to us. He has become our very own Christmas gift. He has come to us.
When I look at my two young daughters, I can’t wait until they open their gifts on Christmas. What will thrill my heart as a father even more though is when they get old enough to realize the child was born for them too — that Jesus came to be their gift, too. That will make Christmas that much more meaningful for me.
The child was born for you, too. The Son of God has come so that we might know God. We celebrate Christmas oftentimes as just another holiday that takes too much work to get ready for. We enjoy the time off work. We enjoy the time with our families, but do we enjoy the fact the child has come for us?
These are the opinions of the Rev. Jason Carmean of Grace Brethren Church in Lexington.