Decorated trees, lights, carols, movies, activities, parties— the day with all of these things wrapped together into one, gigantic, spectacular gift bundle. Yes, Christmas is here! Christmas is definitely one of the most popular holidays in the world and personally my favorite. It seems everyone looks forward to this day the whole year.
In Japan we celebrate it too, of course! Japanese enjoy the holiday with fancy lights, parties, and it’s actually a popular time for dating!
If I were to ask Japanese people what word they thought of when they thought of Christmas, there would be many different answers. Words such as “Santa”, “lights”, and “presents”. Other options could be “snow” or “reindeer”.
But it is very rare to get the one word that defines Christmas; the one reason we celebrate it, the one thing that brings it all together. Frankly, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without this— Jesus Christ.
If you don’t know who Jesus Christ is, or what he did, or how he related to Christmas, let me explain with a small story. In the process, you will learn what the true meaning of Christmas is, and why we celebrate it in the first place:
About 2000 years ago, in Bethlehem, Israel, a pregnant woman, Mary, and her husband, Joseph were looking for a place to stay. They had traveled for days to be counted because of a census decreed by Caesar Augustus. The baby in Mary’s womb was ready to be born, but she hadn’t found a place to give birth to the baby yet.
Now, this baby was no ordinary baby. In fact, he was the most extraordinary, most spectacular baby the world ever knew. This baby had come to save the world. He was God’s Son, coming down to the earth to live with us and pay the price for our sins on the cross and in so doing, rescue us from Satan, death, and hell.
Mary and Joseph kept looking for a place to stay, anxious for this wonderful baby to come to the earth, but they found none.
The only option they had was a lowly stable, where there were barn animals, and a manger in the center of it.
That night, the baby was born and laid in the manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes. That night was God’s humble first step in his amazing plan. About 30 years later, when the baby was a man, he died to save the world from death. He died for our sins, crushed the head of the Devil, and brought us from hell to heaven.
That is what Christmas is all about. Not Santa Claus, not presents, not sweets. It’s all about JESUS. “Jesus” is the one defining word for Christmas.
It’s about remembering and celebrating what he did for us.
And I’m hoping that many Japanese people as well as people from around the world can know this great truth and be saved by faith in Christ.
Question of the Post:
How was your Christmas? Did you receive or give any good gifts?
Bye, and God bless! 👋