When Christmas is discussed at the end of the year, people usually think of a fantastical, gift-giving 6-foot tall grandfather figure clad in a red suit flying in from the North Pole. Others think of family gatherings to meet and reflect on the year over some delicious dishes.
However, the origins of the Christmas story lay in the small town of Bethlehem in Israel, when a poor woman and her husband couldn’t find somewhere to deliver their baby at night. Although this story may be famously recognizable as the birth of Jesus, why is it still relevant to Christians 2,000 years later?
As the Christian Club at Los Altos High School, Christmas holds much meaning to us. Christmas celebrates the beginning of Jesus’s life on Earth – His humble birth from the right hand of God into the world as a baby.
One would think that, as God, Jesus would have been celebrated straight from birth, with soft pillows, warm blankets, a comfortable bed, safety and a crowd of people waiting to meet Him. Instead, what greeted Jesus into the world was a filthy manger, covered with a haystack, inside a stable, animals sleeping around him.
Coming down from the literal heavens, Jesus would probably have considered His experience arriving on the small Earth as pretty disappointing. However, Jesus didn’t come to the Earth to be served; He came to serve. Although the world was too imperfect for His perfection, He set out to heal those who were broken and in need of help; for “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick” (Luke 5:31). Throughout His life, Jesus served the marginalized – the poor, the sick, the beggars, the prostitutes, the adulterers, the sinners.
For the students in our club, Christmas is when we can truly appreciate why Jesus was born into this world, and what He did for humanity. Jesus’s teachings are the cornerstone of our lives – His humble birth into a world unready for His radical acceptance of different genders and cultures signifies the hope and inclusivity that we try to live by as a club, and His tenets of love for God and for those around us serve to guide our lives.
His crucifixion and resurrection represent the hope we have – His death saved us from facing the consequences of our misdeeds. Because of His life and sacrifice, we have a fulfilled life in Him, without condemnation and with an eternal hope.
Jesus came into an imperfect world as a perfect being. Jesus, born into our world more than 2,000 years ago, came to save those who needed to be saved. He healed the suffering and saved humanity from its own sins on Earth. He loves unconditionally and fills us with a hope that, while not constantly tangible, underpins our lives as Christians. His unconditional love for everyone in our school, community and world is the reason to celebrate His coming this Christmas.
The Los Altos High Christian Club meets Wednesdays in Room 922 on campus. Follow the club on Instagram at @christianclublahs.