People around the world look forward to sunrise on Christmas day with eager anticipation, especially young ones. Children who have been told that they cannot look under the Christmas tree until after sunrise can hardly wait for the sun to come up. They hardly sleep the night before and when the slightest hint of light comes out in the morning, they run to their parents and ask, “May I get up now? May I see what Santa brought?”
The traditions of Christmas are about family, food and gifts. Some people spend all year thinking about the next Christmas. They shop a little during the year, hide the gifts away and save up for the special treats that the family loves to eat at Christmas time. More books, songs and movies revolve around Christmas than any other holiday. It is a celebration for people of all nations and cultures, even for those who do not believe in the Christ who made it all possible.
The first Christmas was anticipated for centuries. The prophets spoke about the coming of the Christ child long before that day Mary gave birth to Him and laid Him in a manger. Mary herself must have been excited about the dawn of the day when the promise given to her was born from her own body. That sunrise brought her Son to her and to the world.
As people choose Christmas gifts, they put much thought into it because they want to please the ones they love. Sometimes that entails sacrifice on their part. They may scrimp and save in order to get that special item to wrap and put under the tree.
The gift of the Son to save the world was planned by God before time began. He knew the gift that was needed and He sacrificed much in order to give that gift. God’s love for us is so great that He was willing to suffer to give us the gift that we needed most.
As the sun rose on that first Christmas, one day the Son will rise again. What God promises He fulfills.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).