For now at least, Christmas is still a national holiday. Holiday is a term originally rooted in Old English from halig (“holy”) + daeg (“day”). Not much is sacred to most Westerners anymore, but if they are employed, they still tend to take off from work for Christmas, a benefit bestowed because of the work and grace of another.
Christians, too, may take off from work, but they will understand the halig + daeg (“holiday”) differently. Instead of just taking a paid day off from work, they will take heart because they know what the incarnation of God means.
Christians, take heart.
Remember the Lord and what He has done. They are indeed great things. Here are just some meanings of the incarnation:
• God exists
• God has communicated His nature
• God took on human flesh in Israel in the 1st century (hence, A.D., Anno Domini, “in the year of the Lord”)
• The eternal God entered time and space
• God has revealed Himself, His nature, and His power, in the person and work of Jesus, the Christ
• Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection are the most researched and authenticated facts of history
• Jesus fulfilled hundreds of Old Testament prophecies in precise detail
• No one has produced the body of Jesus
• The church endures and the gates of hell have not and will not prevail against it (Mt 16:18)
• Christ has come; Christ has died; Christ will come again
For non-Christians, I know you are probably busy. But would you take the time to think through the significance of these things–that the one and only holy God exists, that He has revealed Himself in creation, in Scripture, and in the incarnation of the Christ, that He (Jesus) lived a perfect life of obedience to God the Father, that Jesus went to the cross and became sin and bore the curse of sin’s penalty for all who will come in repentance and faith to Christ alone, and that the Holy Spirit, the third person of the triune God of the Bible, says, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts . . .” (Ps 95:7-8a)?