Recapturing the Wonder of Christmas, Timothy J Cross, ISBN 190544705-1


Twoedged Sword Publications, paperback

ISBN 190544705-1



In 1969, one man, Neil Armstrong, actually walked on the surface of the moon. Landing on the moon for the first time was and remains an amazing milestone in human history – ‘a small step for man and a giant leap for mankind.’


Christmas however makes even landing on the moon seem trivial, for the first Christmas was an unprecedented case of God coming down to visit us here on planet earth. The wonder of Christmas is that God became man. He left heaven for earth and walked our shores with the sole purpose of blessing us eternally.


The season of Christmas certainly has its delights. But its delights can also be its dangers: the good can rob us of the best; the things of time can distract us from the things of eternity; the passing pleasures of earth can divert our attention from the eternal joys of God – those ‘solid joys and lasting treasures which none but Zion’s children know.’


This book recaptures something of the wonder of Christmas by focusing your attention on the incomparable Christ Who lies behind Christmas. Celebrating Christmas and knowing and celebrating Christ are poles apart. It is Jesus Who is the reason for the season. Knowing Him and His salvation is the secret of a truly happy Christmas, a happy new year and a happy eternity. Happy Christmas!





Chapter One :  The Wonder of Christmas

Chapter Two : The Joy of Christmas

Chapter Three : The Wonder of a Baby : The Wonder of The Baby

Chapter Four : Bethlehem: Christmas ‘on location’

Chapter Five : Christmas Presents

Chapter Six : Christmas Decorations

Chapter Seven : The Christmas Tree

Chapter Eight : Where is the Host?

Chapter Nine : The First Christmas Rush

Chapter Ten : ‘In loving kindness, Jesus came …’

Chapter Eleven : ‘I’m dreaming of a white Christmas …’

Chapter Twelve : No Vacancies

Chapter Thirteen : The Advent of our King

Chapter Fourteen : Three Christmas Paradoxes

Chapter Fifteen : Christmas: Too good to be true?

Chapter Sixteen : When Giving is Getting

Chapter Seventeen :  Happy Hanukkah

Chapter Eighteen : Christmas: God’s Humanity, Poverty and Agony

Chapter Nineteen : Just According to Plan

Chapter Twenty : ‘I wish it could be Christmas every day …’

Chapter Twenty One : The Transfiguration of the Ordinary







The first Christmas-time was a time when God became man. The wonder of Christmas is that in the incarnation of Christ, the infinite God actually came within the reach of finite men and women like you and me. In the virgin conception of Christ, and in His subsequent birth at Bethlehem nine months later, God actually took upon Himself our humanity. In Christ, God became man. 1 Timothy 3:16 is an understatement when it says Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of our religion: God was manifested in the flesh.

I cannot remember a time when we didn’t have a cat in our home. Our present cat is an affectionate, shy, tortoise-shell cat named Sally. Sally and I have gradually built a great rapport. We communicate with each other after a manner. She makes known to us when she is hungry or when she wants to go out. I think that I can even sense when she is smiling. She also understands me a little, especially when I use words like ‘dish’, ‘bed’ or ‘Down!’. But whilst all this is true – and with respects to the Dr Doolittle cartoons I enjoyed as a boy, in which Dr Doolittle could actually talk and be understood by animals – the gulf between me and our cat is very great. She is a cat and I am a human being.

If the gulf between us and our pets is great, what of the gulf between us and Almighty God? His awesome greatness is intimidating, and His holiness makes us afraid. We are finite, and He is infinite. We are very much flesh and blood, but God is Spirit (John 4:24). We are characterised by weakness and dependence, but He is characterised by awesome power and total independence. We are sinners by nature, but He is immaculately and infinitely holy and pure. Truly, the gulf between the invisible God and us His creatures is very great.


Christ: The bringer of the revelation of God Himself


The reality and wonder behind Christmas is that, in His grace and goodness, God has taken the initiative to bridge the gap between us and Himself. He has done so by becoming man and being born at Bethlehem. In the Lord Jesus Christ we have the unsurpassed revelation of the one true God and, in the salvation He wrought at Calvary, we may know reconciliation to this God – if we put our trust in Him.

In the Christ of Christmas we have the unsurpassed revelation of God because, as Matthew 1:23 tells us, Jesus is Emmanuel (which means, God with us). That this should ever have been so is a constant source of Christian praise, but especially so at Christmas, when Christians specifically ponder the wonder of the incarnation – that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth (John 1:14). There is a hymn which articulates this praise so:-


Let earth and heaven combine

Angels and men agree

To praise in songs divine

The incarnate deity

Our God contracted to a span

Incomprehensibly made man.


            It is Jesus then Who dispels are ignorance of God. He could say that ‘He who has seen Me has seen the Father’ (John 14:9). Further, John 1:18 tells us No one has ever seen God; the only Son Who is in the bosom of the Father, He has made Him known.


Christ: The bringer of reconciliation to God Himself


The Christ of Christmas bridges the gulf between us and our Maker particularly because He is the great reconciling Saviour as well as the great revealing Saviour. One of the ways in which the Bible describes salvation is in terms of reconciliation. It is Christ alone Who can bring God and sinners together. The Christian Gospel proclaims that in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them (2 Corinthians 5:19). In Christ, Christians have a joy which is peculiarly theirs: we rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we have now received our reconciliation  (Romans 5:11).

The bad news though precedes the good. The bad news is that it is our sin which cuts us off from our Maker. It is our sin which alienates us from Him. It is our sin which makes us liable to the righteous anger of God – His wrath. But the Christ of Bethlehem was born with the specific purpose of reconciling alienated sinners to God. He did so thirty three years later when He died on the cross of Calvary. On the cross, Christ took our sin and God’s wrath upon it, so that by believing in Him we may be saved from God’s wrath and reconciled to Him for all eternity. Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God  (1 Peter 3:18).

So do you know and rejoice in the Christ of Christmas? Have you realised that in Christ God actually became man, so that if we want to know what God is like, we need look no further than the Christ of the Bible? Do you also know that Jesus came into the world to reconcile God and sinners. Do you know that if you too believe in the babe of Bethlehem Who grew up to become the Christ of Calvary, you also will know the joy and wonder of being at peace with your Maker for time and eternity.

Knowing the salvation wrought by the One Who came at the first Christmas certainly gives us reason to celebrate!


Hark! The herald angels sing

Glory to the new-born King

Peace on earth and mercy mild

God and sinners reconciled

Joyful all ye nations rise

Join the triumph of the skies

With the angelic host proclaim

‘Christ is born in Bethlehem’


Christ, by highest heaven adored

Christ the everlasting Lord

Late in time behold Him come

Offspring of a virgin’s womb

Veiled in flesh the God-head see!

Hail the incarnate Deity!

Pleased as Man with men to dwell

Jesus our Immanuel.