I need a little Christmas, more than a little. In fact I feel that I’ve been operating on edge lately. Lots of stuff to blame…finances, relationships, politics, there seems to be no limit to the number of things that conspire to rob me of joy. Can you relate?
I get so caught up in my own life, my problems, my rationale, and my little corner of the world, that I even forget to consider the Savior. I mean really consider.
Think about the bustle of the time and place of Jesus’ arrival. Like our holiday, many people, including Joseph and Mary, were traveling. And although the census isn’t likely a celebration like Christmas is, I can’t help but think that family reunions were happening all over Judea. There were grandparents who hadn’t met their grandchildren, brothers and sisters who hadn’t seen each other in a while. And there were people feeling hardship due to the extra spending required to make the journey.
It was in the midst of this chaotic time that God chose to enter our history in THE most powerful way. It was during this chaotic moment that unto us a Savior was born.
The census went on, outrageous political upheaval was coming in the form of infanticide. The Jews were under occupation, and no one, or very few people anyhow, knew that the Messiah was born.
Maybe your life gets chaotic like mine, like the Jews over that first Christmas. Maybe like me you feel it easy to leave Jesus on the margins, in the manger. Maybe the fire God lit in you years ago needs a little stoking in this cold season of Christmas in America, or wherever this note finds you.
Please understand that when I say this, I am really preaching Gospel to myself. What I need is the same as what I am to bring. I need this Christ child. I need this condescension into my life as one who didn’t “need” me, but with love served me and set me free.
Then, and only then, can I take this Gospel to the other broken ones. Only then can the broken-hearted be comforted, or the broken bodies be healed. Only then can the refugees find their true citizenship and the unjustly incarcerated be truly set free.
We have a champion. He is not an elephant and he is not a donkey, although he rode one. He came as a child and also the ancient of days. He’s defeated the enemy of our souls. He offers freedom and eternal life. That is the Christmas we all need. That is the Christmas that I need.
Merry Christmas, may the coming of our Lord and Savior be deeply known in your celebrations this year!