The Promise of Christmas

The Promise of Christmas

Christmastime is here!

This year, the first advent of Jesus seems to have special meaning amid so much speculation that He will soon come again.

This time of year, we read the words of Isaiah as we celebrate the Yuletide: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). So many promises to look forward to–healing, freedom, comfort, joy, salvation (Isaiah 61). We delight in the stories of the shepherds and wise men as our children and grandchildren reenact that silent, holy night when the Son of God appeared on the earth.  We long for a Savior just as they did in the Old Testament.

From that hopeful Christmas night long ago, however, things eventually took a turn.  The crowds thronged Jesus with rapt attention during His ministry until He failed to live up to their expected vision of political rescue and leadership.  For most it seemed that He slipped into earth as a babe-in-arms and left as a convicted criminal, executed on a cross, the promises of salvation unfulfilled. Everything went on as before.

Sometimes I feel that I am just as guilty of believing that nothing has changed.  Things still seem hopeless sometimes and I am just hanging on, waiting for Him to come and rescue me.  It seems I’m not as eager to be saved from my sin as I am from my circumstances.

Oh, my goodness!

God forgive me!

Jesus’s incarnation changed everything! He brought Life and Light into the world and they have never left us! When Jesus disappeared into the clouds, He left his disciples—including you and me—in charge until He comes again (Matthew 28:19-20).  We are His servants, and He has given us His authority to change the world.  Because He has taken our sin, we are empowered to change our circumstances.

The world does have its problems this Christmas season.  It is tempting to gather in “Holy Huddles” and wonder when, oh when, Jesus is coming back.  I am reminding myself that He is the still the Light of the World, and He has appointed me to be a Light Bearer and to shine by virtue of my good deeds (Matthew 5:16).

In thinking about this, I stumbled onto Proverbs 4:18 which says, “the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”  It made me think of the stewardess advising passengers as the plane is about to take off—”if the power goes out, a path of lights along the floor will lead you to the exit”.   In this crazy time, there are plenty of good deeds that need doing!  Instead of shivering in the dark, let’s light a shining trail to Life!


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