It’s my third week of doing the “Advent” study with Good Morning Girls. And Monday’s Scripture reading just made me realize that Christmas was a real event in history. The “babe in the manger” that we celebrate on Christmas is not just a fantasy or something of our imagination… No, it was a real event in history.
And the Apostle John puts it so precise in this first letter:
We tend to minimize the reality of this event in history.
What’s big about Christmas today? Well, there are presents, the Christmas tree, decorations, baking, the cards, the Christmas music, Christmas concerts, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services…
But do I realize that this is not a fictional story, no fairy tale either? There was a man named Joseph, and there was a woman named Mary. And there was a baby boy that was born. And they named him JESUS. And Jesus grew up to be a man. When Jesus began his ministry at the age of 30, he picked real men to be his disciples. They were real men in history! Not just because the Bible says so. No, because there is plenty of other evidence, too.
We wouldn’t question the October 3rd holiday in Germany for example. It’s a real event in history. Reunification of Germany. We wouldn’t question the May 9th celebrations of the former Soviet Union (and now Russia), because it was a real event in history that celebrated the former Soviet Union’s victory over Germany. It marked the end of WWII.
So why do we question the existence of Jesus? Why do we think that Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, Ascension Day, Pentecost etc. are not real? We still make quite a bit of a fuss over Christmas, but after that the events just get less and less attention. Who does still know what Ascension Day stands for? or Pentecost?
Christmas was only the beginning, a very humble beginning at that. And it only got bigger and better after that! The progression in celebrating these real events in history should be visible, but unfortunately it’s not. We start out with a “big bang” for Christmas and after that it’s just down the hill…
These were real events in history! And Jesus is as real as it gets! He was a real person in history! He lived for 33 years, he did all the things we are told that he did. He was man and He was the Son of God. He died on the cross (Good Friday), He rose again (Easter), He ascended to heaven (Ascension Day), and God sent the Holy Spirit (Pentecost) to lead us into all truth (John 14:16). These were real events in history.
As we anticipate the celebration of this real event in history, may we fully share the Apostle John’s joy when he testified about the real person in history: JESUS!