When we talk about the celebration of Christmas, even in the face of a centuries-old tradition, there are still certain discussions. First of all, there is a lot of deviation from the true meaning, as Christmas is not just exchanging gifts, lights, decorations, and lots of family dinners and lunches, but the celebration of the birth of Our Savior. Then, there are still those who question the date, because, after all, we do not know the real date of Jesus' birth, but it's known that it must not have been in December. The question is: why do we celebrate Christmas? The direct answer is: because Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the Divine Word, incarnated and fulfilled God's plan for the Salvation of everyone who believes. God, the Son, approached humanity, incarnating himself, taking the form of man, revealing his love and grace.
The approximation, similarity and affinity with creation are such that God took on human form, the infinite united with the finite, the eternal tied to time, emptying itself of glory and taking the place of to be created to redeem him and definitively draw him closer to Himself. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we saw his glory, as the glory of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). He is Emmanuel, "God with us".
Here is the distinctive and unique mark of Christianity. We do not have a distant God, but a God with us, who draws us closer to Him, drawing us closer. How to understand His eternity, love, grace, empathy and relationship with creation? Jesus is the answer to these questions about God, his nature, eternity, and his relationship with creation. After all, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, and without him nothing that was made was made” (John 1:1-3). This Divine Word manifests and incarnates, generating an approach through love and saving grace.
The Divine Word, God the Son, is one who is in the deepest intimacy and closeness to God the Father, and who manifests the most intimate reality of who God is, for “He is the radiance of Glory and the exact expression of His Being,” as described in Hebrews 1:3. This is because the Word is God. He is of God "the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation" (Revelation 3:14), for all things were "created in Him". And this is where the ultimate revelation is, which revolutionized minds and hearts. There is no God in heaven that is different from Jesus, after all, "he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father", for "I and the Father are one", said Our Lord Jesus Christ in John 14:9 and 10:30. Jesus, God the Son, reveals God the Father fully. These passages point not only to the unity of essence but to the revelation of the Father, for which the disciples asked.
With this, the Bible makes it clear that Jesus Christ, in addition to being the Divine Word, is, at the same time, the eternal Son of God. He is the Divine Word, the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world, and He is the Eternal Son, eternally loved by the Father. The Divine Word speaks of intimacy and the Eternal Son speaks of relationship, identity, and visible revelation. You can note such points in the same Gospel of John in chapter 17:24, which says:
"Father, my will is that, where I am, those you gave me may also be with me, that they may see my glory which you bestowed on me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world."
In this way, by being revealed as the visible image of the invisible God and, at the same time, being He, Jesus Christ, the Divine and Eternal Word, we as part of the “body of Christ” are in Him children by adoption and part of the Your eternal plans. Still, we are part of the people called and chosen by God to be heirs, sealed by his Holy Spirit for the day of redemption, as we see in the Letter to the Ephesians, chapter 4, verse 30. Thus, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit they dwell in those who belong to them, as we see in chapter 14 of the gospel of John.
I want to exchange gifts, I like to see the decorations, I appreciate the family reunion and I must remember that from eternity to Bethlehem, from Bethlehem to Golgotha, from Golgotha to our hearts and until your glorious return, we have God with Us.
Pr. Luciano Barreto Nogueira de Moura
President of Seventh Day Baptist World Federation