Merry Christmas from our family to yours. We pray you have a blessed celebration of this “holy” day season as you gather with friends and family this coming Monday for Christmas. Sleep in if you can, relax, and enjoy some time with your loved ones. However, let us not forget the reason for all this hustle and bustle. Christmas was never meant to be about all the shopping, decorations, Amazon deals, high-calorie sweets (and yes, the calories will count), and brightly wrapped gifts under a Christmas tree, with all the ornaments and twinkling lights.

It is about the first incarnation of Jesus. What does it mean to be incarnate? In simplest terms, it typically means “having a human body.” The incarnation is a die-for doctrine of the Christian faith which affirms that God took human form in the body of Jesus Christ. (See John 1:1-3, 14) John writes, “By this, you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world”. (1 John 4:2-3)

Again, John warns us to be on guard against those who would deny the truth of the incarnation of Jesus as the God-Man. “For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” (2 John 7 emphasis added) To say that Jesus is not God in the flesh is deceptive because it is a blatant lie. This flies in the face of God’s promise to send a savior to redeem fallen creation. (See Genesis 3:15; 12:1-3) The hope of salvation is at the heart of the Christmas message.

To deny Jesus is to be in enmity with God, not a place I think any sane person wants to be, and yes, I think you have to be out of your right mind to think you can fight against God and win. To stand against the message of Christ at Christmas is of the spirit of the antichrist, and many today deny Jesus, even at Christmas. How sad? So, let each of us take time to reflect and celebrate the wonderful reality that Jesus was born, died, buried, and rose again, according to the scriptures that we may have eternal life. (See 1 Corinthians 15:1ff) Celebrate Jesus first, then eat too many cookies. Love you all. Merry Christmas!