Let us not forget that the moment Jesus took on flesh and came into the world as a baby, it was, like it is for all of us, the first day of a long descent towards death. Christmas is only merry if it gives way to the suffering and death of Easter. You cannot celebrate the one without a view toward the other. Christ became a baby so He could die as a man. He died as a man so we could be reborn as new babes in Christ. We are reborn through the regeneration of the Holy Spirit so we might take up our own cross and follow Jesus. We are buried in His death so we might be raised to everlasting life.
Life in this fallen world, lived in this corrupted body, is a journey towards death. For the one who has tasted and trusted in the goodness of God through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, it is a crossing of the Easter river of death and resurrection into the land of eternal Christmas. Every day is a day of new life, new glory, new discovery, new pleasures, new gifts, new celebration forever and ever and ever. To those who refuse to associate with Christ in His death now, there will be a crossing of the river Death into an eternal night where every day is a new death, a new loss, a new sorrow, a new regret forever and ever and ever. Or to use C.S. Lewis’ image, an eternal winter with no Christmas. This would be the deserved fate of us all if not for a Christmas that gave us Easter and an Easter that made Christmas possible for us again.