Breaking news – The Lord is come!
“An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” NIV
Christmas is a strange time. In our ever so secular society, people deny the Christ but still celebrate His coming.
Blaise Pascal, the famous French mathematician and philosopher got it right when he said, “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.” The more they push Him out of their lives, the more desperate they become, the more they yearn for someone or something to fill the emptiness within. They would never admit to it, of course, but it shows, particularly at Christmas time. Everyone wants to make Christmas special. Homes and buildings are decorated. Millions are spent on gifts, food and drink, and travel. Families and friends get together. And the words that are associated with the season – love, peace, joy – speak of the deep yearning within us all for something better.
Yet for all the money, time and activity that is spent, most will miss the real treasure of Christmas. The world has been sold toys and tinsel in place of the “good news of great joy” that came from the Father’s heart that day in the little town of Bethlehem. Nothing wrong with toys and the tinsel and holiday cheer, of course, but if that’s all we see in Christmas, then we are poor indeed.
How the world, and each one of us, needs to recapture the wonder that is Christmas, to carve a place in our hearts and lives where the “good news of great joy” will ever be resounding. The message from the Father that was carried by the angels that day was, after all, a deeply personal message to each one of us. The Father’s heart was exploding with joy, with anticipation, with great expectancy – at long last, the time had been fulfilled, the earth was ready for the Son, ready for God’s great appointment with the creation, with us.
The Son is come with a message of everlasting love! And He has brought gifts from the Father: forgiveness from every sin, deliverance from every yoke, freedom from every bondage, healing and restoration for the sick and broken-hearted, and provision for those in need. Every promise that God ever made would be “yes and amen in Christ” from now on (2 Corinthians 1:20).
And because He has come, God will be ever-present for you. Because He has come, there will always be someone to hear your cry and wipe away those tears, someone to confirm to your heart that it is well, someone to carry you through difficult times and bless you and love you for who you are. Because He has come, there will always be a place for you to run to in times of trouble, there will always be a place for you to come to when you are bruised and brought very low. Because He has come, there will always be someone to inspire you and encourage you to press on to take hold of all that the Father has planned for you to live a full and fruitful life. You will never be alone again: Immanuel [which means “God is with us”] is here (Matthew 1:23). Good news of great joy, indeed!
Cherry and I wish you a joyous and blessed Christmas. Rejoice! The Lord is come!