Solomon of old wrote that there is a time for every season: “A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing (Eccl. 3:5, KJV-BRG). The definition of “embrace” is to hold (someone) closely in one’s arms, especially as a sign of affection; to hug, hold, or cuddle warmly and affectionately; to accept or support (a belief, theory, or change) willingly and enthusiastically; to receive wholeheartedly.
Christmas Day, December 25, is a worldwide celebration. The world spends days and weeks preparing to celebrate the birthday of one important baby. This miraculous event gives many reasons to embrace the spirit of Christmas. We will look at five specific ways to embrace Christmas because, if ever there were a concept to embrace, it is Christmas Day!
Embrace the spirit of Christmas with forgiveness.
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21, KJV-BRG).
Christmas is about forgiveness! The angel announced to Joseph a message and mission of salvation which can only come through forgiveness, and the message echoes still today:
“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” (Matt. 6:14, KJV-BRG).
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” (Rom. 15:7, NIV).
Embrace the spirit of Christmas with service.
“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matt. 1:23, KJV-BRG).
God came down on Christmas Day to serve, not to be served. God came down to offer His life as a ransom for many. Christmas is about service!
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Rom. 12:1, KJV-BRG).
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love” (Gal. 5:13, NIV).
Embrace the spirit of Christmas with celebration.
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:13–14, NIV).
The angels in great chorus sang loudly with this ancient birth. Christmas is about celebration—song and music and dance!
“Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice” (Phil. 4:4, KJV-BRG).
“Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven” (Luke 6:23, KJV-BRG).
“You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy” (Heb. 1:9, NIV).
Embrace the spirit of Christmas with gifts.
“And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh” (Matt. 2:11, KJV-BRG).
Christmas is about giving, gifts, and presents!
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, KJV-BRG).
God’s precious gift came to man on Christmas Day. The gift of His love was fully manifest in the babe in the manger.
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38, NIV).
“If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud…” (1 Cor. 13:3–4, NIV).
Embrace the spirit of Christmas with worship.
“I will proclaim the Lord’s decree: He said to me, ‘You are my son; today I have become your father’” (Ps. 2:7). Worship was complete on this day, the day of the Savior’s birth, with all creation represented while casting eyes upon the newborn King. Christmas is about worship!
“Angels from the Realms of Glory”
Angels from the realms of glory,
wing your flight o’er all the earth;
ye who sang creation’s story
now proclaim Messiah’s birth.
Shepherds, in the fields abiding,
watching o’er your flocks by night,
God with us is now residing;
yonder shines the infant light.
Sages, leave your contemplations,
brighter visions beam afar;
seek the great Desire of nations;
ye have seen his natal star.
Saints, before the altar bending,
watching long in hope and fear;
suddenly the Lord, descending,
in his temple shall appear.
Sinners, wrung with true repentance,
doomed for guilt to endless pains,
justice now revokes the sentence,
mercy calls you; break your chains.
Though an infant now we view him,
he shall fill his Father’s throne,
gather all the nations to him;
every knee shall then bow down.
All creation, join in praising
God the Father, Spirit, Son;
evermore your voices raising
to the eternal Three in One.
Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ, the newborn King.
“O Come Let Us Adore Him”
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.