Silence: Take a moment to get still and ask God to center your heart on him.
Scripture: 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)
Devotional: Usually, when we think about Christmas our minds are filled with thoughts of hot chocolate with marshmallows, gifts, candy canes, singing, trees, snow, Miracle on 34th Street, Home Alone and passing “through the sea of swirly twirly gum drops” (thank you Elf.)
However, you know what you probably don’t think about when it comes to Christmas?
It doesn’t seem like a topic would should be thinking about in regards to Christmas, but it’s a crucial element to the story. Look at the scripture above. The angel is speaking to Joseph and there are three things he tells him.
- She will bear a son.
- His name shall be Jesus.
- He will save people from their sins.
So here is a part of the Christmas story being told and the story includes talking about being saved from our sin. If we’re going to tell the Christmas story then we must talk about sin.
Now, being saved is an incredible thing, but it’s even more incredible when you realize what you have been saved from specifically. What is sin? Sin can be defined as evil, rebellion, deserving of punishment or missing the mark. Ultimately, sin is disobeying God and dealing with the consequences that result from those actions.
In Genesis 1 everything is perfect and there is no sin, no evil, no rebellion or missing the marks God had set for man. Adam and Eve walked with God in perfect harmony. In Genesis 3 though, Adam and Eve are deceived by the serpent and disobey God. When they disobeyed, sin entered into the world, which led to brokenness, evil, disease, death, hardship, suffering, and separation from God.
What this means for us is that we must understand the reality behind Jesus’ birth. This precious baby in a manger wrapped in swaddling cloth was born to die as a sacrifice for your sin, my sins and the sins of the world. This should sober us.
One of our pastors once said that, “everyone loves a rescue story, but the rescued love it most”. Those who have been rescued from a sinking ship or a burning building appreciate the rescue far more than those of us who just hear about it.
The same is true of Advent.
Unless we understand our sin and its consequences then we’ll never be able to fully appreciate or celebrate advent. If we are going to tell the rescue story of Christmas, we must tell everyone the full story of a virgin that gave birth to a little boy named Jesus who would one day rescue people from their sins.
Question: Have you ever made the connection between Christmas and your sin?
Action: Take a moment to reflect on the truth that Jesus was born to die and then thank him for rescuing you from your sins.
Prayer: God, it’s humbling to think that the baby in the manger came to die and rescue us from our sins. I pray that we would celebrate and honor you well in light of this truth. Thank you for Jesus. Thank you for saving us from our sin. Amen.