The magic of Christmas

Jesus is called the author of our faith. He is a masterful writer. An eloquent storyteller. A caller to detail.

To Him there are no coincidences.

It was not by chance that at His birth and at His death, He was laid on a tree—one a warm manger and the other a rugged cross. Or that He likely entered the stable on a donkey and rode one again to His death, this time with palm branches laid under His feet.

It did not take God by surprise that there were two by Jesus’ side as He entered the world and two as He left it—parents then thieves. It was no accident that twice He was wrapped tightly in cloth, swaddled then buried in darkness.

marythumbGod knew a Joseph would be there to hold Him both times—a father then a follower. He knew Mary would gain a son at the nativity and another at the crucifixion. And what she pondered in her heart when she rocked Jesus in her arms, she would finally understand at the foot of His cross.

The Father knew that the earth would shake at the coming and going of His Son and that people would run to spread the word over the hills when He was born and on the road when He died. He knew that on the day of Christ’s birth, an extra star would light the sky. And at the end, there would be no light at all.

It is no coincidence that in Bethlehem the sky split wide with angels, and at Golgotha rocks were split in two. The Earth couldn’t hold all the joy of His birth nor all the anguish of His death.

These parallels prove that symbolism is not just found in books—it’s vibrant and active, spoken into being by our Author. They show us that any creative genius we see in the world is born of the Living God. That all stories come from the Story.

They prove that Christmas really is as magical as we hope it will be each year. Christmas, we see twinkling lights and feel the warmest on coldest nights. We marvel at the falling of each unique snowflake and fly through the crisp winter air on lakes of ice. We drink chocolate from cups and watch light scatter in a thousand colors from painted glass on trees. We sing age-old carols and kiss under berries and watch the fire under our hearths ripple like golden waves.

Yes, Christmas is full of enchantment—all this glamour around us pointing to something grander under the surface. Something truly magical.

And this is the magic of Christmas: it’s not the real magic. It was only the beginning, just a screen poised to uncover the truly wondrous day that would come 33 years later. Christmas was the curtain being drawn back for the first act, raised to the sound of our applause that would thunder at the finale. Everything about the day of Christ’s birth points to the day of His death—when He was born, He was destined to die. When He died, we were destined to live.

Christmas is the great prelude to the most beautiful song of all: the song of our salvation. Like matching bookends, the nativity and crucifixion perfectly hold the only small bit of magic our world can ever claim. The magic that came to us as a baby—the One who, now, we celebrate.


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