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Philippians 2:6–11. Thinking deeply at Christmas can be difficult. Shopping for presents, family get-togethers, and parties sometimes crowd out the time we need to reflect on the meaning behind the trees and tinsel. In addition to the holiday hustle and bustle, Christmas traditions sometimes take the edge off the truth, fantasy eclipses the original manger scene, and sentimentality tends to replace reality. We give and receive Christmas cards with a gold-leaf, haloed baby sleeping in a clean manger with smiling oxen, donkeys, and kittens crowded around.

Though the decorated trees, tame nativities, and piles of presents aren’t inherently bad, they can distract us from the original scene depicted in God’s Word. And more important, these holiday traditions can keep us from reflecting on what Christmas represents—the unfathomable truth of the incarnation.

Let’s remember that before Mary placed Jesus in the manger, He existed in heaven with God the Father and God the Spirit. And before baby Jesus cried His first cry, He was the Creator of all things.

When we think deeply about the incarnation, it will make all the difference when we sing the carols, admire the nativities, and talk about Mary, Joseph, and their precious baby.

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Copyright © 2013, ℗ 2014 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. “O Holy Night,” arrangement by J. Daniel Smith, copyright © 2008 by Hal Leonard Corporation, Copyright ℗ 2012 by Stonebriar Community Church. All rights are reserved worldwide. This Insight for Living Ministries production is for your personal use only. Civil and criminal copyright infringement occurs when this production is uploaded to the Internet, publicly performed, copied, or placed on any information storage and retrieval system now known or yet to be invented, without prior written permission from Insight for Living Ministries.