A blessed Christmas to one and all! While all our stockings may be hung by the chimney with care, and while we may be excited about the celebration of this Holy Season, Christmas does remind us about a sobering and eternal truth. And it is only as we appreciate this truth about Christmas that we can fully understand the impact of the message, summed up so pointedly in John 3.16. “God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son to the end that all who believe in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Those are familiar words. But they take on a greater meaning when we pause a moment to realize that every public moment of our Lord’s life was surrounded by scandal and controversy, from his conception to his last dying breath on the cross. Our Lord came into the world, and he was human as any one of us, but his life, the quality of his life was not like ours. Conceived in a manner that was a cause of scandal upon his mother and upon Joseph, born in a stable, and homeless and indigent for most of his life, the incarnate Lord saw the worst of life, not the happier side of it. Not only was his mode of dying painful, it was the sort of death reserved for criminals of the worst sort, the scum of society. He was truly, as Isaiah foretold, the man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
How many of us think about LG (Life is Good) in the celebration of the good life. There is no LB (as in Life’s bad) brand of appliances—and yet, that was the quality of life that our Lord Jesus lived, and he freely embraced it for your sake.
So, as I wish you all a blessed and merry Christmas, I would implore you to ponder this mystery of God’s love. Not to create a blot, an execration upon our joy and celebration, but to help us to appreciate the wonder of the greatest gift of all, the true love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord.