For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
This is a pretty notable text often read at Christmastime. What is particularly noteworthy is the cause for hope in Isaiah’s words: A child.
It’s quite remarkable that God showed the greatest love in the history of the world not by sending a political savior, or a military genius, but a child born in the most humble of circumstances. What is clear, though, is that this is no normal child: “The government shall be upon his shoulder.”
Don’t Limit His Kingdom
Now this isn’t an earthly government: Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). The New Testament reveals that God’s kingdom is the Kingdom of grace and salvation, and this kingdom is present in our hearts right now, and yet will be fully fulfilled in Christ’s second coming.
If this is true, that Christ reigns in our hearts, and ultimately reigns over all, I want to challenge us with a question:
Do we sometimes confine Jesus to Christmas?
We do know that God’s kingdom is not relegated to Christmas, right? Jesus as the Messiah and King isn’t just nice to think about around Christmas. This is the most universal truth there is! In fact, to push us a little further: Christ Himself is far more important than a yearly celebration we call Christmas.
Christmas is wonderful, but let’s be careful not to confine Jesus to Christmas only. Sure, Jesus is the reason for the season, but this season of Christmas is not exactly His main accomplishment! In my opinion, some think they’re defending Jesus by correcting a Target employee when they say “Happy Holidays.” In reality, they’re really just defending Christmas. Do you see the distortion there? Do you see the potential idolatry?
Not Just the Reason for the Season
He’s not just the reason for the season, he’s the reason for life itself! Sure, I’ll concede: don’t take Christ out of Christmas. But we shouldn’t confine Christ to Christmas either! He’s more than the reason for the season; he’s the reason for everything. There is no season that belongs to Jesus. Everything belongs to Jesus! “For from him, and through him and to him are all things” (Romans 11:36).
Jesus is BIGGER than Christmas; he’s BETTER than Christmas. Funny enough, my encouragement this Christmas: don’t savor the Christmas season because you feel like it’s Christian’s last hold on culture. Savor it because it’s a time to celebrate something that is true year-round and something that will not change with the wind of culture. What is it that we’re celebrating? What is it that will not change?
God promised a Messiah. That Messiah came.
He died for your and my sin, rose again defeating death, so that if we repent and believe we are saved. I’m pretty happy about that this Christmas season, whether I’m greeted with a “Happy Holidays” or a “Merry Christmas.”