The Beauty of Christmas

December 16, 2021

By Maria Fontaine

Audio length: 11:21
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In this post I’ll be sharing a few thoughts about Christmas. You’ll read about letting Jesus use you to share His love with others, the great value of the little things we do at Christmas, and the biblical account of the beautiful Christmas story!

The gift of your heart

All the works that Jesus did on earth had to be extremely important for the Son of God to come down in order to do them. But when you examine those extremely important things, you see that not all of them were what most people would call “spectacular” in the physical. Many of the things He did—the spiritual transformations—had very little, if any, fanfare. Many of them, like His witness to Nicodemus,1 or forgiving the immoral woman’s sins,2 or His encounter with the woman at the well3 weren’t outstanding in physical ways.

The more visible opportunities where He taught and healed large crowds had their time and place, such as when He fed the five thousand.4 But He also invested His time and attention on those focused moments when He connected heart to heart and spirit to spirit with one person or a small group of people.

The Bible records several life-changing miracles that Jesus performed in people’s spirits that didn’t require a huge investment of time or materials or effort. He was just where He needed to be when the opportunity arose, and He was faithful to give the truth, love, mercy, and forgiveness that lifted a broken heart or a confused mind or a lost spirit. His gift was His unconditional love that could impart hope, light, and truth.

If we can follow His example by giving to those who need His care and support in whatever way He shows us, this Christmas season can be everything He wants it to be. The more we follow His example, the more our own lives will be spiritually enriched. As we do what we can to demonstrate His love to others, He will help us to better understand His plan in our own lives.

The gift Jesus most wants for His birthday is for you to allow Him to use you to share His love with others. It’s a gift that you can give no matter what else you’re doing, and it’s one that only you can give Him, because it’s the gift of your own willing heart.

Making a Christmas masterpiece

When the life of a follower of Jesus is lived as Jesus intended it to be, it becomes a thing of beauty. Being a Christian and having a relationship with God should be something that permeates our daily experiences, is integrated into our decisions, and brings color to our perceptions of ourselves, others, and this life.

Christmas … is love in action. When you love someone you give to them as God gives to us. The greatest gift He ever gave was the person of His Son, sent to us in human form, so that we might know what God the Father is really like. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.—Dale Evans Rogers

Like a beautiful painting, a Christian’s greatest glory is often made up of countless little things. The tiny globs of color in the painting that appear to be so insignificant when viewed up close become breathtakingly beautiful when seen in their totality. In the same way, the countless expressions of God’s love shared with others in the course of a Christian’s life may at times appear to be insignificant in themselves, yet God sees them in the context of the totality of a life that glorifies Him, and He revels in their beauty.

As our lives become more centered around God, He adds more sparkle to our eyes, more bounce to our step, gives more strength in our weakness and more grace in times of struggle, loss, or suffering.

As our dependence on Him grows, He enhances the joy of His Spirit that overcomes our sorrow, and He sharpens the extra spiritual sight that helps us see past the flaws to recognize and appreciate the beauty of God’s Spirit within ourselves and those around us. The more we are determined to strengthen our walk with Jesus, and the more we desire a deeper spiritual connection with Him, the more He will be able to manifest His Spirit through us. Paul commended some early Christians, saying:

For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will. They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem. They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.—2 Corinthians 8:3–55

When your faith plays an integral part in your values, goals, and decisions, the love that prompted God to create the universe can stir your heart to see the need around you. It will move you to action. If God demonstrates His love for us in the beauty of a tiny flower, as well as in the immeasurable greatness of His coming to live and die for us, that teaches us that there is also great variety in the ways that our lives can show His Spirit and truth to this world.

We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God.—1 John 3:16, 18–196

God wants to fill our lives with His Spirit as much as we will allow Him. We are His handiwork. As we allow Him to blend the hues of His love and mercy and develop the beauty of form that He intended for us, we become His masterpiece that will speak to the hearts of many. Let’s eagerly embrace the priceless gift of His presence in our lives that was made available to us on that first Christmas. And as we cultivate the captivating beauty of God’s love in all we do and say, others will be drawn to Him through us.

The most beautiful story

Late on a sleepy, star-spangled night, angels peeled back the sky just like you would tear open a sparkling Christmas present. Then, with light and joy pouring out of Heaven like water through a broken dam, they began to shout and sing the message that baby Jesus had been born. The world had a Savior! The angels called it “Good News,” and it was.—Larry Libby

Yes, Good News indeed! And we can read all about it in the Bible! I enjoyed this brief account of Jesus’ birth, which was published in the Activated magazine. When rereading the accounts of Jesus’ birth in the gospels I recalled that none is complete in itself, but together they tell an amazing story.

Matthew begins with the dilemma Joseph faced when learning from an angel that his wife-to-be was expecting a child of whom he was not the father.7 Matthew also tells us that certain wise men, or magi, followed a star from their homes in the East to bestow gifts on the newborn King;8 that the wise men and Joseph were warned in dreams about the evil intentions of jealous King Herod; and that Joseph, Mary, and the infant Jesus escaped by fleeing to Egypt.9

Luke provides many details that Matthew doesn’t, including how the archangel Gabriel visited Mary with the news that she would give birth to the Messiah,10 her initial reaction,11 and a later one—a passage now known as Mary’s Song of Praise, or the Magnificat—in which she extols God and His plan for the Son she will bear.12

Luke also explains how it happened that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, even though Joseph and Mary were from Nazareth; how it came to pass that the King of kings, the Savior of the world, was born in a stable;13 how angels announced His arrival to nearby shepherds;14 and how the shepherds, after visiting Him, spread the news far and wide.15

John gives no details, but in one of the most powerful verses in the Bible goes straight to the heart of the matter: “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”16Chris Hunt

Published on Anchor December 2021. Read by Carol Andrews. Music from the Christmas Moments album. Used by permission.

1 See John 3:1–21.

2 See Luke 7:37–38, 48.

3 See John 4:1–29.

4 See Matthew 14:21.

5 NLT.


7 Matthew 1:18–25.

8 Matthew 2:1–11.

9 Matthew 2:12–15.

10 Luke 1:26–37.

11 Luke 1:38.

12 Luke 1:46–55.

13 Luke 2:1–7.

14 Luke 2:8–14.

15 Luke 2:15–18.

16 John 1:14.

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