The words of a carol, “O Holy Night” brought to my mind some thoughts about Christmas that get lost in all the flurry and busyness of the season. “Oh, holy night! The stars are brightly shining. It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth; Long lay the world in sin and error pining, ’til He appeared and the soul felt it’s worth.”
“A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices. For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. Fall on your knees. Oh hear the angel voices! Oh night divine, O night when Christ was born.”
The Christmas message brings different soul responses. After the message from the angel that she would bear a holy child, Who would be called the Son of God and the confirmation of Elizabeth and the child she was carrying, Mary said, “My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God, my Savior.” (Luke 1:46)
What would cause the soul to feel it’s worth at His appearing? What would cause Mary’s soul to exalt the Lord? Who is this One Who causes hope to rise in a weary world? His name is Jesus. The angel who visited Joseph told him, “Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bear a Son and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He Who will save His people from their sins. (Matt 1:20-21)
Paul wrote to Timothy, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners -” (1 Tim 1:15) He added, “of whom I am chief.” The truth is we have all sinned by turning our back on God. We want our own way, we don’t believe God has our best interests at heart, so we don’t trust Him. This goes back to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Without God we try to find satisfaction in other things, but deep down there is something missing. We feel empty and lost in our soul, our core being.
We don’t know who we are! We don’t feel our worth! All that we attain in this world is of no lasting value. Jesus once asked two important questions, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” and “What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36, 37) Jesus came because a man’s soul is eternal, it has great value! He values man’s soul so much that He left the splendor of heaven and came to earth to be born in a lowly stable.
As a tiny baby He was wrapped in cloths and laid in a manger. In our modern language He was born in a barn and laid in the feeding trough on hay that cattle would eat. His parents were poor, homeless people who became refugees when they had to flee to Egypt to save His life. He understands homelessness, poverty and being a refugee. But the value of man’s soul goes beyond His birth which we celebrate at Christmas.
He was born, He lived in relative obscurity for thirty years and then for three years He poured His life into twelve men who would carry on His work after Him, spreading the message. And then He died! The value of man’s soul caused Jesus to die! That was the reason He came. Man’s sin, rebellion against God, can not be overlooked. The soul that sins needs a Savior! “The wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord.” (Rom 6:23)
When I keep doing things I shouldn’t do and living my life without God, I can never be good enough to merit eternal life with God in heaven. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6) So, the worth of my soul is measured by the love of God Who sent His Son to earth so that I could have eternal life with Him in heaven. For me that’s what Christmas is all about!