The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death light has dawnedâ€¦ For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on Davidâ€™s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Today, around the world, people celebrate one of the oldest and most persistent holy days of mankind, the day chosen to commemorate the birth of one man into the world in a stable in Bethlehem.
Though many celebrate, fewer understand what they celebrate in this commemoration. Even among those who are numbered among this manâ€™s followers, the meaning of his coming and his life and sometimes lost. Yet, the celebration continues, even as some try to put an end to such a celebration and remembrance.
What is it that we celebrate on Christâ€™s Mass Day? The birth of a baby? The miracle of a virgin birth. The beginning of the life of a wise man–a prophet?
Yes, we celebrate all of those things and more. On Christâ€™s Mass day we celebrate the fact that God fulfilled his promise to mankind, first made to Adam and Eve after they fell into sin and repeated time and again until that moment in a stable stall in Bethlehem.
And what was that promise? That God would send into the world our salvation clothed in our own flesh; a man and the son of man to fulfill the requirements of Godâ€™s law that we all failed to fulfill. That man would be His own Son, the Godhead become man for the sake of our salvation.
We celebrate Christâ€™s Mass Day because we want to remind ourselves that, two thousand years ago, God set in motion the events that led to Calvary and the death of this very same man for our sins. We celebrate the fact that this same man rose from the dead, the first fruits of all of those who inherit Godâ€™s promised salvation by faith.
In the end, we celebrate to remind ourselves of the great truth of our salvation and to set ourselves to the task of another year of holding onto our faith with fear and trembling as we wait for the final fulfillment of the promise to us when our God takes us into heaven. May we all hold to the spirit of this celebration and promise until Christ returns.