I imagine that for most of us it has been a combination of things wonderful and things difficult.
For some of us the balance is more towards one or the other of these.
Whatever your circumstances, we confidently maintain that Christmas is a time of peace, hope, joy and love. Yes it really is! These words may seem unrepresentative if your year has been terribly difficult; to others they may seem trite and “nice”.
But they are powerful words, made real by the presence of God in our world in the person of Jesus.
- He really did bring peace: first and foremost peace in our relationship with our maker.
- He really does offer hope: we are able to look forward (even beyond death) with courage because of what Jesus has done for us.
- He really does bring joy: an ability to stare down the difficulties of life knowing that God actually feels our pain, carries us through it, and promises one day to remove it entirely.
- And he really does bring love: he loves us, more than we will ever know, and his love for us inspires and enables us to love one another.
At Christmas we celebrate Emmanuel: God with us. When we consider the sheer immensity of the universe he created, and the tiny, insignificant dots that we are on a comparatively invisible planet, it blows my mind that he took on human flesh.
What is it about us that he wanted to redeem? I’m not sure I have the answer to that. He simply loves us. He made us and he’s glad of it, even after the corruption of the world.
Let’s take time this Christmas to thank him. It’s not just a time for locking ourselves away with family. It’s also a time for remembering that God remembers us, and that he offers us membership of his own wonderful, eternal family.
May God bless you richly, Mark.