Why do we celebrate Christmas?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Christmas season is a busy time of year, culminating each Dec. 25 with many of the celebrations going on today across the world. But why? What is the meaning of it all? Pastors of several churches in Andalusia say the answer is simple.

“Jesus is the reason for the season,” the Rev. Danny Faulkner, pastor of Lighthouse Tabernacle, said. “This is the time and the season to be thankful. Jesus is the greatest gift that this world has ever received, when God gave His only son.”

The Rev. Robert Madsen, pastor of Andalusia’s First Presbyterian Church, said being thankful is indeed an important part of Christmas. Madsen said the Christmas story should be reminder of exactly how much there is to be thankful for.

“God came to us,” Madsen said. “In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he sums up best the mystery of the incarnation when he, in the second chapter, speaks of how Christ, in the form of God, empties himself and becomes a servant, and enters into human existence in the most complete way.”

Father Antony Pullukattu Xavier, pastor of Christ the King Catholic Church said, remembering that God humbled himself by becoming human is central to what Christmas represents.

“When we think of Christmas, it’s a celebration of when God became man,” Xavier said. “The sin of man was trying to become like God, which we see in the book of Genesis. God becoming man was the only way to restore us back to His grace.”

Xavier said celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, God in the form of man, also gives people today an example of how to live and treat others.

“In today’s world, I think that is very meaningful,” Xavier said. “In a way, that is God asking us to become more human in order to be united with each other.”

Xavier said the compassion shown by God’s willingness to humble Himself by becoming a man is the ultimate expression of love – a very human trait.

“Love is the basis of all human qualities,” he said. “God is holy. That awareness will help us, and Christmas is, in a way, Him asking us to become more human, and in turn more divine, like Him. It is a mysterious way of transforming ourselves.”