Christmas is among us-- Christmas trees adorned with decorative ornaments and twinkling with bright strands of lights, wreaths and stockings hung, gifts wrapped and cool air filled with cheer. A time for most of us to exchange gifts and spend time with those who mean the most. Others are consumed with the busyness of the season, traveling to visit loved ones and finding ways to financially stretch in hopes of spreading Christmas cheer.

In the midst of all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas Season, I wanted to share with you one of the greatest stories in history: The Birth of Jesus Christ.

As written in Matthew 1:18-25 (NIV), “This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

All of this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” – which means, “God with us.”

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord has commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.”

In Isaiah 9:6 (NIV) it states, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

As I started this Christmas Season with the Christmas Tree Lighting on the steps of the Alabama Capitol, I was reminded when looking at the tree glowing brightly that Jesus serves as the Light of the World for those who need hope. As we celebrate Christmas, may we focus on the reason for the season: The Birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. It is easy this time of year to lose focus on what matters most. Take time this season to share cheer with others through your giving. Wishing you and your family a blessed Christmas!