Yes, this is a click-bait title. We all know that the consumeristic aspects of Christmas (lights, Amazon gifts, and trees) are not the main point of the Christmas season. Obviously, the Christ of Christmas is center, and that is Christianity 101. So when the Christian embraces this fundamental truth, this Christ of Christmas becomes everything to him, and Christmas becomes more than just another Hallmark holiday. It is a reason to remember that God incarnate came to earth to ransom our souls and redeem us to Himself. He has resurrected us to new life and new affections. This divine reorienting of our joy makes Jesus to be of first importance in all things.
For this Watson Wednesday on Christmas Eve, hear the words of Thomas Watson as he comments on Philippians 1:21 – “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
For me to live is Christ, i.e., Christ is the joy of my life. “God my exceeding joy,” or the cream of my joy. Psa. xlii. 4. A Christian rejoices in Christ’s righteousness. He can rejoice in Christ when worldly joys are gone. When the tulip in a garden withers, a man rejoices in his jewels; when relations die, a saint can rejoice in Christ the pearl of price. In this sense, For me to live is Christ; he is the joy of my life; if Christ were gone, my life would be a death to me.
It should exhort us all to labour to say as the apostle, For me to live is Christ: Christ is the principle of my life, the end of my life, the joy of my life. If we can say, For me to live is Christ, we may comfortably conclude, that to die shall be gain.(Thomas Watson, A Body of Divinity, p. 202)