I don’t know about you, but it seems we all need a little extra Christmas this year. Our world lets out a much needed sigh of relief when the annual holidays roll around. Today, on the first Sunday of Advent, hope is breaking through our shattered world. It comes whispering a hopeful promise: “Just hold on a little longer, Jesus is coming.”
Though the lights, presents and over indulgence of delicious foods are somewhat of a frivolity, they bring us all together. Black or white. Man or woman. Religious or not. Christmas unites us. Somehow, we set aside the dissension, hatred, disagreement for a few weeks. Maybe the fact that our world is illuminated by twinkly lights forces us to focus a little harder. The anticipation of Christmas takes our focus off of us vs. them and moves it to where it should always remain; us with Him.
Who among us will celebrate Christmas correctly? Whoever finally lays down all power, all honor, all reputation, all vanity, all arrogance, all individualism beside the manger; whoever remains lowly and lets God alone be high; whoever looks at the child in the manger and sees the glory of God precisely in his lowliness.
2016 has been a tense year; no doubt about it. A tumultuous election. Multiple terrorist attacks. Many mass shootings. Cataclysmic natural disasters. A massive refugee crisis. Racial divide. War. Death. Fear.
With all of this evil, how will our weary world ever rejoice?
An often overlooked fact is none of this brokenness is new to God. Ever since man sinned in the Garden there was a welcoming of evil and a natural dismissal of God in every human heart. That all changed when Jesus came. He chose to depart from His golden throne in Heaven to not only heal us of our suffering, but also to be right there in the thick of it. Jesus knew suffering.
Jesus was a refugee.
Jesus was hated.
Jesus was lonely.
Jesus was killed.
Many ask, “Why would a good God allow so much suffering?” What they forget to acknowledge is God didn’t create the pain and suffering-we did-but in His unconditional love, sovereignty and grace, He provided a way out. Jesus. When “it is finished” escaped Jesus’ lips upon His dying breath, the bond between us and God was restored.
Christmas was the very beginning of the end of suffering. Christmas loudly declares sameness over all of us, because all of us, no matter our race or gender, so desperately need Him. Christmas isn’t all about cookies and jingle bells; Christmas is the story that completely obliterated our story of eternal suffering. What a tale of redemption! His pure, innocent glory divinely integrated with the filthy brokenness of humanity- and it was beautiful. This is God with us.
God is not ashamed of the lowliness of human beings. God marches right in. He chooses people as his instruments and performs his wonders where one would least expect them. God is near to lowliness; he loves the lost, the neglected, the unseemly, the excluded, the weak and broken.
Christmas may have been a silent night, but in reality there was a supernatural battle occurring. Our world cried out desperately and Heaven replied with an all-powerful infant. The hero of the story arrived to defeat the villain, once and for all. Despite all of the darkness in our world, we know who wins the battle. Good will always triumph evil, even when it seems impossible. A little baby in a dirty stable some 2,000 years ago made sure of that.
But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.
So even though Christ has already come, and he’s coming again, we look forward to the Christmas season with True hope in our hearts-His hope.
//JOY TO THE WORLD THE LORD HAS COME! LET EARTH RECEIVE HER KING.//