The Meaning of Christmas
Many of our College families are Christian, but not all. Therefore some of us might be unfamiliar with the meaning behind the Christian festival of Christmas. So, I thought it might be helpful to give a quick and simple explanation of why we get so excited about Christmas in countries all around the world.
Christmas is all about a special baby.
Even if Christianity is somewhat unknown to you, I am sure you’ve seen pictures of a beautiful young couple kneeling with their baby in a straw-filled cot. There are usually other adults standing around looking at the baby, and farm animals in the background of the picture. That special Christmas baby in those pictures is Jesus.
In those pictures, the young couple are Mary and Joseph. Mary and Joseph are the mum and stepdad of Baby Jesus. We say that Joseph is the stepdad, not the actual dad of Jesus, because although Jesus had an earthly mum, Jesus had a heavenly Father.
You see, what is so miraculously special about Baby Jesus is that despite being completely human, Jesus was at the same time, completely God. Jesus had an ordinary human mum, but Jesus did not have an ordinary dad. God Himself was the Father of Jesus. It was God who had seeded the baby in Mary’s womb. That’s why Jesus is also called ‘The Son of God’, because He was God’s Son, and not actually Joseph’s son. But God entrusted Joseph to be the earthly stepdad to this very special child. And tradition tells us that Joseph and Mary did a good job of being earthly parents to their heavenly child.
As you may have seen, there are usually animals and other people in the Christmas picture. Those animals and people have significance too. The animals are there because even as a baby, Jesus was the King over all earthly things. Also, He was a Heavenly King, but he was born into an ordinary not-wealthy family. This family was under duress at the time of His birth too. The animals are shown near the tiny baby because Mary and Joseph could find nowhere to stay overnight and they had to shelter among animals in a farm-shed at the time of the birth of Jesus.
If there are other people in the picture, they are usually shown as farmhands and royal kings. Those folks are also symbols of the fact that Jesus was born as a gift from God for all people, farmhands or kings, rich and poor, clever and common, strong and weak.
To find out just what gift from God Jesus actually was, you will have to wait until Easter. Easter is the other deeply meaningful Christian festival. At Christmastime, we give gifts to each other in imitation of God giving the gift of Jesus to all of us. And it is at Easter that we all remember our realisation of God’s gift and the depth of His gift in allowing Jesus to be a fully human personification of God on earth among us.
Joseph and Mary were wonderful people. Christians all around the world honour and respect them. But our focus for joy and wonder at Christmastime is the birth of the special child, Jesus.
On behalf of all MCC staff, I pray for God’s blessings upon you over Christmas. We love our school and the task the Lord has set for us. It is a privilege to partner alongside you in the nurturing of your beautiful children.
david gleeson, principal