Max Lucado and the Remarkable Gift of Christmas

Max loves Christmas - the festivities, the food, the gifts and the times with family and friends. He loves it because the holiday prompts questions such as: What’s the big deal with the baby in the manger? Who was He and What does His birth have to do with me? The answers to these questions are filled with hope, love, and even joy. “The event invites us to believe the wildest of promises; God became one of us so we could become one with Him,” shares Max.

As a child, Max remembers his dad telling him and his brother, “Boys, Christmas is about Christ.” Max thought about what his dad said and began asking the Christmas questions himself. He loves the answers he has found. “Because of Bethlehem, I have a Savior in heaven, Christmas begins what Easter celebrates. The child in the cradle became the King on the cross,” shares Max.

Interruptions come with Christmas. They come with life and his family is no exception. Two years ago his family received an interruption that brought sorrow when his daughter, Jenna, suffered from a miscarriage during the Advent season.  Jenna, said her Christmas “felt more like a hole-iday than a holiday.” The next year, the sorrow was replaced with joy. Christmas brought the excitement of a healthy pregnancy for Jenna.

God has made a business out of turning tragedy into triumph even in Biblical times. Who could of known that Joseph the prisoner was just one promotion from becoming Joseph the Prime Minister. Or, that God was giving Moses forty years of wilderness training in the very desert through which he would lead the people. And who could have imagined that Daniel, the captive, would soon be Daniel the king’s counselor. Or, that despite a scandalous pregnancy and an overcrowded inn, God triumphed in Mary’s story and Christ was born. “His plan will not be derailed. God is unaffected by our storms. He is undeterred by our problems,” shares Max.   

In order to find Jesus we all need direction. God gives it. The story of the wise men shows us how God led them to Jerusalem with a star. But it took Scripture to lead them to Jesus. The prophecy told them where to find Christ. The wise men found the Christ because they heeded the sign and believed the Scripture. Today God uses every possible means to communicate with you through the wonders of nature and the promises of Scripture. He wants to help you find your way home.

As a child, Max remembers one unforgettable Christmas when a large unwrapped box sat in the corner of their living room for weeks. On Christmas morning, after unwrapping all the gifts, the still-unopened box sat in the corner. His dad explained the gift was for Max’s mom. As his mom opened the box she pulled out a box within a box. This happened several times before she reached in and pulled out a ring box. That Christmas Max learned a powerful lesson: a remarkable gift can arrive in an unremarkable package; one did in Bethlehem.  Max says, “He became like us so He could serve us. He entered the world not to demand our allegiance but to display His affection.”

If God was willing to wrap Himself in rags and drink from a mother’s breast then all questions about His love for us are off the table. Max reveals, “If He is willing to be born in a barnyard, then expect Him to be at work anywhere – bars, bedrooms, boardrooms, and brothels. No place is too common, no person too hardened. No distance too far. There is no person He cannot reach. There is no limit to His love. When Christ was born, so was our hope.” The Christmas miracle is a year-long celebration.

Max grew up in a small town in Texas and went to church with his family. When he became a teenager, he walked away from his parent’s faith. One night, after he downed a six-pack of beer, he started to ponder if there was more to life than partying and chasing girls. Soon after, Max joined a Bible class at a university where his heart was moved by the love of God. After graduation he became an associate pastor at a small church in Florida where he met his wife Denalyn. During this time he also wrote a column in the weekly church newsletter, which ignited his passion for people, ministry and writing. In 1983, Max and Denalyn moved to the mission field in Rio de Janeiro to help plant churches. Through his experiences there, Max wrote his first book and launched his extensive writing career. He also serves the people of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio where he has been on staff since 1988.

Mentioned in the Video

Guest Info


New York Times best selling author, latest, Because of Bethlehem (Thomas Nelson, 2016)

Written 33 books; Ministers at Oak Hills Church where he has served the people for over 28 years

Max’s words have traveled the world in more than 43 languages via more than 125 million individual products, 97 million of those are books

BA in Mass Communications, Abilene Christian University

MA in Biblical and Related Studies, Abilene Christian University

Max and his wife Denalyn (of 35 years) have three grown daughters, two son-in-laws and one granddaughter


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