Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What's the Best Holiday?

Our birthdays are all holidays, right? Or are they...

My birthday is June 23rd, 1991, so it's obviously in the summer. I was home schooled in elementary school, but eventually I went to school in junior high. When I did, I noticed that whenever it was someone's birthday, people would post signs on lockers, he or she always got gifts and stuff, and OF COURSE there were always cupcakes involved.

Sure, they had to go to school on their birthdays, but they also got a lot of other cool stuff. I had a summer birthday, which certainly lent itself to pool parties, but sometimes I felt like I was missing out. 

Sometimes I ask people what their favorite holiday is, and often they will say, "Oh, that's easy! My birthday, of course." I've long debated this idea: Are birthdays—Is MY birthday—(a) holiday(s)? I'm not sure. Mine is in the summer, so school was automatically canceled. However, I've noticed that unlike a usual holiday, school was never canceled for Johnny or Gabe or Becca's birthday. In fact, there are very few birthdays that everyone notices.

However, most of the world celebrates Christmas. What is Christmas? Well, it's a birthday. Whose birthday is it? It's God's birthday. God. Not Abraham Lincoln, not Mother Theresa, not Santa Clause. It's Jesus' birthday. 

You know, the guy who created the universe, knows everything, loves everyone, is perfect, can do anything, and single-handedly changed the course of history. Yeah. Him.

Who else's birthday is recognized all over the world? What other holiday has hundreds of songs written and sung about it? What other holiday brings about sales, food, parties, decorations, gift exchanges, movies, and traditions? 

There are tons of famous people. Does anyone really know or care when their birthdays are? Well, I'm sure some people do. But the world celebrates Christmas.

What do you do on your birthday? You probably eat cake, open presents, hang out with your friends, avoid work, and just generally do whatever you want. People also sing this fun little "Happy Birthday" song to you. No matter what, your birthday is generally about you and what you want to do.

What does Jesus do on the celebration day for His birthday? I have no idea. 

I know it must include watching little kids tell a big fat guy in a red suit what they want for Christmas. It includes watching middle-aged Americans drag giant pine trees into their homes. It includes watching people eat inordinate amounts of candy and watching them trample eat other to buy the cheapest, newest, and best Barbies, iPads, and video games, before the other less vicious shoppers.

I wonder if it all makes Jesus laugh. For He remembers that 2,000-ish years ago, He was born into this world to Mary and Joseph, a young couple who had just traveled to Bethlehem. He was fully God and fully man, lived a perfect 33-year-long life, died to save the world from their wrong-doings, and rose again three days later. Basically, He saved the world.

Just like your birthday is about you, Christmas is about Jesus. In fact, every day should be about Jesus. Do you know Him? Check out the first sentence on Wikipedia; they've got it right.

Luke 1:30-33 says, "But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over Jacob's descendants forever; His kingdom will never end."

Wow. Talk about an important day in history! Jesus was born to be great and to save the world. Anyone who confesses their sins and accepts Jesus can have everlasting life and be saved from eternal destruction. What are you going to do on Christmas? Singing Christmas carols is great, and even exchanging gifts is a commemoration of Jesus' gift of salvation.

So yeah. Christmas isn't about you, or the presents you bought, or all the awesome food you're going to eat, or the big pine tree in your living room. It's about Jesus. 

So wish Him a happy birthday and thank Him for coming into the world. He didn't have to, but He did it because He loves you, and He loves the whole world.

What's the best holiday? In my opinion, it's Christmas, the day Jesus was born, the day the world was given hope. So Merry CHRISTmas, people. Remember what it's all about. :)

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