The Certainty of Christmas in Uncertain Times
December is here! This is my favorite time of year. I love Christmas. I love the decorating, the excitement, the lights, the cards, the songs... everything. I think a lot of people will say the same thing. I heard an ad on the radio the other day, proclaiming that "the holidays are finally here!" I think, after, such a crazy (dare I use the word, "unprecedented" again?!) year, many people have been looking forward to the consistency of Christmas and its once-a-year happiness and excitement.
Christmas. Such a wonderful time. Some even use the word, "magical". But, why is it such a wonderful, magical, happy time?
One word: Jesus.
"Jesus is the reason for the season". While this may seem to be an overused expression, the fact remains: without Jesus, there would be no Christmas.
I have been reading through Luke 1 now, as well as a devotional called, "Repeat the Sounding Joy" by Christopher Ash. As you begin reading Luke 1, Luke writes to Theophilus that Luke's reason for recording the events of Jesus are so "you may have certainty concerning the things that you have been taught". (Luke 1: 4)
What are the things you know for certain?
I think it is safe to say that this year, not much has been very "certain"!
But, in this anticipation and excitement of celebrating Christmas, I want to remind you of what is certain.
Jesus living as man.
Jesus dying as sin for you and me.
Jesus as Savior.
Jesus as Mediator.
Jesus as KING!
And, all these are certain. Certain because God said them. God foretold them through his prophets. Jesus fulfilled them. And, God's word is there for you and I to read, to know, to believe.
And, this is where these "for certain" things can either be a ray of hope or a cause of disdain. For some, Jesus is a mere religious figure. Yet, for those of us who believe- not in magic-, but in the certainty of God, Jesus is our hope.
He is not just some baby. He is JESUS.
And, what we know for certain is that, from the beginning of time, God foretold of a Redeemer who would break the curse of this sin-soaked world, providing healing to a world, who longs for hope.
What do you know for certain this Christmas season?
Perhaps the plans you normally "do" for Christmas are hindered due to Covid restrictions/fears.
Maybe someone you love died this year, and Christmas will be especially painful without them here.
Perhaps there were some relationship divisions that happened this year. And, the healing process is only beginning.
Maybe the passing strains of time have brought change in your physical body- maybe illness, pain, uncertainties.
Perhaps your job has been greatly affected and funds are tight this year.
Yet, Christmas has come.
And, what are you dwelling on for certain as you consider this blessed holiday?
Are you dwelling on the certainty that Jesus came to save you and give you hope?
Or are you dwelling on all the "things you have to get done"?
Are you dwelling on the certainty that Jesus reigns as King?
Or are you dwelling on the chaos that seems to reign in our world right now?
Take some time to dwell on the certainty of Jesus.
Read Matthew 1 and revel in the fact that the genealogy shared in that passage is a short version of the Old Testament, a remarkable truth of the hand of our sovereign God to bring the birth of Jesus, to save us from our sins.
Read Luke 1 and rejoice in the certainty of God's promises wrapped up in two very special babies: John, as the forerunner of Jesus, and Jesus as the Lamb of God.
Marvel at the work of the Holy Spirit. Promised to dwell in John the Baptist from conception; promised to come upon Mary and cause her to conceive the very Son of God.
This is Christmas. And this is certain: Christmas is all about Jesus.
"Oh, Father, our hearts are easily distracted from belief to unbelief. Give us eyes to see afresh the miracle of Jesus, coming as a baby to redeem us unto yourself. What a miracle of inexpressible joy! What an expression of love from you, our great God. What hope we have- this anchor for our souls in uncertain days- that you have given us Jesus. Thank you for this hope of life and light. Thank you for the certainty of your Word. Teach us more of you. Teach us to rejoice in hope."
Songs for meditation: