Christmas is more than a story of a birth. It is first and foremost the story of God's gift:
"For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
Here is the beginning of the story, the reason for Jesus' birth (Romans 3:9b-26):
... all people, whether Jews or Gentiles, are under the power of sin. 10 As the Scriptures say,
“No one is righteous—
not even one.
11 No one is truly wise;
no one is seeking God.
12 All have turned away;
all have become useless.
No one does good,
not a single one.” [Psalms 14:1-3; 53:1-3]
13 “Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
Their tongues are filled with lies.”
“Snake venom drips from their lips.”[Psalms 5:9; 140:3.]
14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”[Psalms 10:7]
15 “They rush to commit murder.
16 Destruction and misery always follow them.
17 They don’t know where to find peace.”[Isaiah 59:7-8]
18 “They have no fear of God at all.”[Psalms 36:1]
19 Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God. 20 For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are. 21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. 23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.
Jesus explained his God-given purpose in John 3. These are the words of Jesus:
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. 18 There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.” (John 3:16-21)
This is my favorite part of the Christmas story: No one earns God's gift. It is free, a gift in the truest sense:
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:8-10)
May God bless you by giving you a better understanding of his gift this Christmas.