Christmas comes with many family traditions. Early in the season, families decorate the house and trim the tree. Christmas movies run seemingly nonstop all month. Many people anticipate the coming of Christmas with advent calendars. On Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, families exchange gifts and share a meal. One of the most popular traditions for families at Christmas is reading the Christmas story in Luke 2.
But of course, Christmas is not a story – not in the literary sense. The word “story” implies that it is one of many tales about Christmas. Charles Dickens wrote a Christmas story. So did Charles Shultz. But the Christmas story in the Bible is more than a story. Far from being manmade fiction, the Christmas account tells of when God became man. It is not just a story, it is history.
Christmas is not a story – not in strictest sense. The birth of Jesus is a chapter in the grand story of God’s revealed Word. Sure, the Christmas story can be read on its own, but it lacks significance if it is not read in the context of the Old Testament failures of God’s people and the New Testament solution to sin by Jesus’ death on a cross. It is not just a story, but part of a greater story.
Christmas is not a story – not in the applicable sense. Stories are good entertainment. They may even have good messages. But Christmas is revolutionary. It doesn’t just draw out emotion, it changes the course of eternity. It is not just a story, it is a God’s message of redemption.
Christmas is not a story – not in the personal sense. The Polar Express was not written to me. A Christmas Carol was not written to me. The Nutcracker was not written to me. But the Bible was inked with me in mind. It was written with you in mind. Jesus was born specifically for you. He lived and died specifically for you. He rose from the dead specifically for you. The Christmas story is not just a story, it is your story.
You can continue to refer to Luke 2 as the “Christmas story.” (I will!) But let us remember that the birth of Jesus cannot be reduced to a story. The birth of Jesus is the true account of how God became man to die on the cross for the sins of those who believe in Him. It’s not just a story, it’s God’s plan of salvation.