Martin Top: The Actual Meaning of Christmas

This time, Pastor Alan Marsden of Martin Top Chapel offers his own thoughts on the actual meaning of Christmas. Grateful though he is to the suggestion that it is all about presents or families, Christmas has a much deeper, more wonderful meaning.

Isaiah 9 6-7 reads:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Christmas is about Almighty God coming to earth in the form of a human baby. This we call the incarnation - God taking on flesh. He came to save and demonstrate love, but to also reaffirm and realise an invisible Kingdom - a group of people who submit to God’s government and rule.

Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

The establishing with judgement and justice surely refers to the Child’s anticipated death on the cross, during which He received the Father’s punishment for human sin. He became the sin-bearer for all who would believe in Him. This Kingdom, though persecuted, vexed and ignored, is everlasting, and will not go away. God has determined that it will not only be established, but grow. This Christmas, as we recall one of the first stages of Christ’s Kingdom-establishment, will you join it? Will you yield to the Manger King? Will you bow before the Stable Sovereign? The Magi, shepherds and angels all did so- but will you? This is the real meaning of Christmas. Spend time with family, by all means; give and receive gifts, certainly. The real point of the season, however, is to get right with God. God the Son came to our earth that we might ascend to His heaven. He took up our sin and rebellion that we might lay it down - and all else at His pierced feet.

Mine Are Riches, From Your Poverty,
From Your Innocence Eternity;
Mine Forgiveness By Your Death For Me,
Child Of Sorrow For My Joy.

O Now Carry Me To Bethlehem,
To See The Lord Appear To Men;
Just As Poor As Was The Stable Then,
The Prince Of Glory When He Came!

 Michael Perry 1942-96. Copyright: © Mrs B Perry/Jubilate Hymns