Why Christmas Matters

Christmas was technically yesterday, but I tend to keep thinking about it as long as it’s winter. My depression is affected by the lack of sunlight, the cold, and not being outside very much for the previous reasons listed, and so my thoughts often turn to the source of my hope: Jesus Christ.

He was most likely born in September, but December 24 and 25th is the day chosen for remembrance. This holiday has always been very spiritual for me; I love the music, the stillness, the sense of peace, the wonder. For several nights before Christmas, I lay awake at night, thinking about what the heavily-pregnant Mary was feeling, what her fears might have been as she traveled during a time she probably should have been taking it easy. I thought about Joseph and if he still had a seed of doubt in his mind about what was going on, and if he crushed that doubt as he remembered seeing and hearing an angel telling him to accept Mary and believe what she had said about the child. The shepherds were going about their usual, rough lives, completely unaware that soon they would blinded by the light of heaven and a fleet of angels telling them the Messiah had been born and that they would be the first to see him with their own eyes. I wondered if the wise men had set out on their journey yet, a journey that could have taken them up to two years (since they did not see Jesus until he was around that age), or if they were still in their mansions studying the skies.

Easter is the most important Christian event because if one believes in it, it confirms that Jesus Christ is God and that He defeated sin and death by resurrecting from the dead. It isn’t enough that He was born and existed; if He is truly who He said He was, He had to fulfill the prophecies and die on a cross, lie in a tomb for three days, and then rise again. I know this. However, Christmas has always been more emotional for me. Easter proves that Jesus is God, and Christmas proves that Jesus was a man. He was human. He came into the world the same way we all do. He understood the pain of the flesh, the limits of our strength. If Jesus was only God, it would honestly be difficult for me to see Him the same way I do knowing that He was also a human. How could an all-powerful, all-knowing God truly understand my irrational and rational fears, my weaknesses, my craziness, my lowest lows? But no, He does, because He stood where I stood.

That’s why Christmas matters so much to me.

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