Summer 2024

THE INCREASE: The Focus This Christmas - Matthew Boyd

Growing up and celebrating Christmas with my family was always such an amazing time. We’d read the Christmas story from the Gospel on Christmas Eve, followed by our Christmas morning celebration at my parents’ house, where both sets of cousins and grandparents would pile in. I have the best memories of sharing that day with my sister, parents, cousins and grandparents — it was such a blessing. Now that we have a child of our own, I realize how much work it can be to get everyone together in one place for the holidays, and I’m so grateful we always made that happen.

This year will be my daughter’s first Christmas. I know the whole thing will go over her head since she’ll only be 5 months old, but it’s going to be so special to celebrate with the three of us instead of just two. Now that we have a child, we’re really being intentional to focus on what Christmas is all about.

Our culture has a lot of fun with Christmas and festivities, and as awesome as that is, we don’t want to let our Christmas get washed out. We’re putting the emphasis where it belongs; we’re celebrating the day our Savior Jesus Christ was born. God sent His only Son to be born as a man, a man who would eventually die for our sins so we would be able to find salvation in Him. This will not only be our focus this year, but for every year to come.

When I look at my baby girl, I couldn’t imagine letting my only child suffer a brutal death on a cross. That’s unfathomable to me. But that’s what our Father did — He sent His only Son down to Earth to save others. Seeing the miracle of my child, I realize this blessing can only be created by God. Only He could create and design such a perfect gift.

When I’m around my daughter, all my own cares and needs go out the window. Suddenly I want to do everything I can to raise her up in the truths of the Lord. I pray she would have wisdom and understanding, a bright future and hope in Christ. I pray the right man would come into her life at the right time. I pray she would know God and discern right from wrong, without being swayed by the world. I pray she would live faithfully for God no matter what our culture says or does. I pray she would depend on God more and more as she grows up.

As a father, I love my daughter so much. I couldn’t imagine loving her more, and yet, God does love her more. That’s something I truly can’t comprehend, part of the mystery of God. The fact that He loves us so unconditionally and wants to have a relationship with each and every one of us, despite how imperfect we are, is amazing. He wants us to know Him and experience the love He has for us. This just speaks of how magnificent He is and how incredible it will be to stand in His presence in Heaven for eternity.

This Christmas, and every Christmas, the focus is on Christ — our Savior and our Lord.

“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.” — Isaiah 9:6

— Matthew Boyd, Detroit Tigers pitcher