While Christmas is one of my favorite holidays and I doubt that anyone is more excited than I am to decorate for the celebration, I always approach Christmas with a little different view about what the season means. You see, Christmas is not an end in itself. Christmas is the beginning of the story.
If you put Christmas into the perspective of a book, Christmas would be Chapter 1, or maybe even the Introduction or foreword.
Christmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Deity becoming flesh. Christmas is about about a baby breaking through history, at a certain place and time.
But, we can't lose sight of the fact that Christmas would mean little if we didn't have another chapter/holiday--Easter!
The empty cross and the empty tomb demonstrated God's love for all of us!
While I will celebrate Christmas and enjoy the focus on Jesus' birth, I will not forget the true extent of God's love for me, as He allowed His Son to die for my sins.
We place a cross (see below) on our tree to remind us of another tree, placed on a hillside, stained with the blood of our Savior. A cross that I deserved to die on, but instead, God allowed His only Son to shed His blood for me, for my sins, for my unworthiness, on that cross.
The manger is special. The little baby Jesus is sweet, cute, and demonstrates to us God's desire to be a part of our world. But, the cross, the empty cross and the empty grave demonstrate the full extent that God would go to rescue us.
May your Christmas season be filled with not only the birth of Jesus Christ, but also with an understanding of His life, death, and resurrection.