The Christmas Story
A Christmas story can be composed of many elements such as stories of Santa Claus, gifts, Christmas trees, and family gatherings. However, without Jesus, there would be no need for Christmas. The Christmas story, and the true meaning of Christmas, lies within the events that occurred over 2000 years ago with Mary's virgin birth to Jesus in a stable in Bethlehem, along with the visits of the shepherds and the wise men. The birth of Jesus, however, is much more than a Christmas story, it is the beginning of the life of the Savior of the world, and centers around the events leading up to and immediately after Jesus' birth. The beginning of this story does not begin with the conception of Jesus, however, but with Isaiah in writings of the Old Testament. God had promised that a Savior or Messiah would come to earth to deliver people from sin and provide salvation to any that would believe in Him. Take the Christmas Story Quiz to further explore this story.
The true beginning of the Christmas story is found in the book of Isaiah. As a prophet, Isaiah had many visions about the future and events that would come to pass. One of these visions concerned the Savior of the world being born: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this" (Isaiah 9:6-7). Isaiah's vision came to pass many years later with Christ being born in a virgin birth, testified to by the Christmas star and the wise men who followed it to the stables.
Mary and Joseph, the earthly parents of Jesus, play a major role in the Christmas story. Before they were married, they were promised to become husband and wife. Mary received a visit from the angel, Gabriel, who told Mary of her pregnancy and how she would bear the son of God. Since Mary was a virgin, Jesus' conception and the virgin birth was a miracle provided by God to allow God's Son to come to earth and become the Savior and Redeemer of mankind. Joseph felt a need to break the engagement after finding out about the pregnancy. However, before that could be done, he was visited in a dream by God. The true mission of Mary's pregnancy was revealed to Joseph, allowing him to understand the power and necessity of taking Mary as his wife and raising Jesus as an earthly son. With the plan in place for the birth of the Son of God, a Christmas story was beginning to take shape. For other interesting Bible resources, check out the Bible Quizzes.
Just before the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph had to journey to Bethlehem to register for the census demanded by Caesar Augustus. Joseph had to return to Bethlehem because that was where his ancestry was registered. Upon reaching the town, Mary went into labor. However, because no room was available at the inn, the couple took refuge in the stables, where the virgin birth of Jesus took place. At this moment, a bright star shone for all to see. Many shepherds came to see the child after being told by an angel that Jesus was the Savior, sent by God. The wise men also came to see the child and bring gifts. They had been told by Herod to find the child and tell him so he could also worship the child. After the wise men found Jesus and presented their gifts, God warned them in a dream to return home without telling Herod of the location of the Savior. The wise men did as God instructed and left without allowing Herod to know where Jesus could be found.
Many times, a Christmas story will include many fun and interesting details of the holiday season. This particular one, however, is the greatest and most important story that anyone can ever learn or tell. Long before the birth of the Christ occurred, there were promises made of His coming. As God's vision was being fulfilled, many events took place to show people that Jesus was the true Messiah. God and angels spoke and visited with people to prepare them for the birth of Jesus. This story, which is vital in the life of every Christian, is one that brings hope, promise, and salvation to the world. Therefore, while a Christmas story may be composed of many elements, it is not complete without including and focusing on the Savior being born: "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).