Growing up in Asia for the first 12 years of my life, I had celebrated Christmas as a time of gifts and parties. As an only child of hard working parents, it was a time for family meals and hanging out with friends. I had no idea of the meaning of Christmas or that it had anything to do with any religion, least of all Christianity.
After moving to England I tried to learn as much as possible about the local culture and asked school friends about Christmas and Santa Claus. Someone told me that Santa Claus was one of the wise men who had brought gifts to Jesus.
After struggling with the death of my father, self-harm and depression; a street preacher in Manchester told me, “Your life matters to God.” I took a book from the man and read it daily for two weeks and decided to follow Christ.
Christmas 2016 was my first Christmas as a Christ follower celebrating the birth of Jesus. I spent the holiday attending churches, hearing the Christmas story from the Bible and worshipping with others. (My mother even came with me to church!)
Much of the celebration was still around food and gifts, but understanding the meaning of Christmas – that God himself came down as a man – made it clearer what an amazing thing God chose to do for humanity. Jesus became vulnerable like me. He became lonely like me. He became fatherless like me. All this was so that, through his death on the cross, I might become a child of God like him.
Article by: 26 year-old follower of Jesus