During this time of year, it may be easy to forget that the bigger purpose behind Bethlehem was Calvary. But the purpose of the manger was realized in the horrors of the cross. The purpose of his birth was his death.This is a helpful reminder that if we preach the birth of Jesus without reference to his death and resurrection for our sins we are actually presenting a distorted picture of what Christmas is actually about.
Or to put it more personally: Christmas is necessary because I am a sinner. The incarnation reminds us of our desperate condition before a holy God.
May we all grow in our awe and wonder that God would take on flesh and be born in a filthy stable/cave to save sinners from the fury of his wrath that we deserve for our rebellion against him.