And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. - John 1:14
I love this video from John Piper, one of his best sermons I have watched and the reason I say that is that he does such a great job of pulling the pieces together, all of the pieces we so often read as if they were unrelated little moral stories instead of a seamless story that covers the entirety of human history that culminated in the resurrection of Christ but that also continues to unfold today as we wait for the coming of eternity.
It might seem odd to look at the Gospel according to John for the "Christmas story" since it pretty much is covered in one verse, John 1:14, but as beautiful and important as the recounting of the events surrounding the birth of Christ are for the church I can say, with not a little trepidation and trembling at the suggestion, that the why of the Incarnation is more crucial than the how of the Incarnation.
The manger leads to the cross. If it did not, then it was meaningless. A baby born to a virgin is a historical novelty but a baby who grows into the Son of Man who dies for the sins of His people and rose again changes history forever. Jesus is the innocent babe who would one day walk into Jerusalem in order to suffer and then be cast out to be murdered on a cross. The way His life ended and miraculously was resurrected is the real "reason for the season". Enjoy your Christmas season with family and friends but ponder what it all means while you drink your eggnog. Nothing makes the season more rich than to see the Incarnation in light of the totality of redemptive history.
She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." - Matthew 1:21