Recently, I was reading about the history of Christmas and where our various Christmas traditions come from, including ones that may have originated in pagan rituals or festivals, and it struck me that one of the most fundamental truths about Jesus is how He accepts each of us where we’re at.
Jesus says that He’ll never reject anyone who comes to Him.1 His circle of friends isn’t an exclusive club with strict requirements. In fact, He does more than just accept us; He often adapts Himself to meet our needs.
It’s interesting to see how Jesus did just that during His ministry on earth. When He was with Nicodemus—an educated high-ranking member of the clergy with a strong background in and grasp of theology—Jesus spoke in ways that piqued his interest and challenged his intellect.2 When Jesus was with children, He took them in His arms and gently talked with them.3 When He was in the company of tax collectors and sinners, He went into their homes and ate and drank and laughed with them.4 A couple of times after teaching large crowds, He knew that their most important concern was their hunger, so He fed them.5 Whether with a crowd or one on one, Jesus did whatever was necessary to reach each person and show them that He loved them.
This is how Jesus lived His entire life. He took on a human body and got down and messy with us. He dealt with daily life, hunger, and fatigue. He probably felt discouraged at times. But He went through our human experience so that He could feel what we feel and understand the things that are important to us.
He can take the things that you know and love—the things that are important to you, like your Christmas traditions—and give them even greater meaning.
This year, as you enjoy your Christmas celebrations, as you open gifts, sing carols, and eat good food, let those things remind you of Jesus’ deep love for you. Regardless of where these traditions originated, you can let them point you back to the great gift Jesus gave each of us by coming to earth, living, and dying for us.