CHRISTMAS has really become a hopeless muddle of confusion. The humility and the poverty of the stable are somehow confused with the wealth and indulgence and selfishness of gift giving. The quietness of Bethlehem is mingled with the din of shopping malls and freeway traffic. The soberness of the Incarnation is somehow mixed with the drunkenness of this season. Blinking colored lights somehow have some connection to the star of Bethlehem.
John F. MacArthur Jr., "The Incarnation of the Triune God"

WHEN Jesus was born, the voice of God became flesh and dwelt among us. And what the voice said was, "Console, console my people." The consolation that God's anger is past … the consolation that our heavenly Father has a tender affection for us in our weakness … the consolation that our sins are pardoned and "cast into the depths of the sea" (Micah 7:19).
John Piper, "Looking for the Consolation of Israel"

REJOICE, you who feel that you are lost; your Savior comes to seek and save you. Be of good cheer, you who are in prison, for he comes to set you free. You who are famished and ready to die, rejoice that he has consecrated for you a Bethlehem, a house of bread, and he has come to be the Bread of Life to your souls. Rejoice, O sinners everywhere, for the restorer of the castaways, the Savior of the fallen, is born.
C. H. Spurgeon, "Joy Born at Bethlehem"

THE ENTIRE human race had a place, and the Lord about to be born on earth had none. He found no room among men. He found no room in Plato, none in Aristotle, but in a manger, among beasts of burden and brute animals, and among the simple, too, and the innocent. For that reason, the Lord says in the Gospel: "The foxes have dens, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head."
Jerome, Homilies on the Psalms

HE CHOSE a time of utmost peace as the time when he would be born, because this was the reason for his being born in the world, that he might lead the human race back to the gifts of heavenly peace. … He, as a kind mediator and reconciler, has made one house of God of angels and humanity.
Bede the Venerable, Homilies on the Gospels

WE KNOW full well that the work begun in that manger is not yet complete.
Christmas is, for the time being, a feast of light juxtaposed with darkness. We brighten our sanctuary with candles, but the night persists beyond these walls. Though we wipe our tears away to join in the yuletide celebration, we are still a people who mourn.
Katherine E. Willis Perchey, "A Feast Juxtaposed"

WHAT you do not understand, treat with reverence and be patient, and what you do understand, cherish and keep.
Augustine of Hippo, Sermons for Christmas and Epiphany

Related Elsewhere:

Other Reflection columns for Advent and Christmas include:

Christmas (Dec. 19, 2005)
Reflections: Advent (December 1, 2003)
Reflections: Word Made Flesh (December 9, 2002)
Reflections: Life After Christmas (December 3, 2001)
Reflections: Quotations to Contemplate (December 4, 2000)
Christmas (December 2005)

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.