“I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people…” Luke 2:10
What brings you great joy? A happy marriage? Seeing your grown children after a long absence? Holding your grandchild in your arms? A clean bill of health? These can and do bring us amazing moments of joy that we would love to last longer than they do. But are they truly mega-joy (mega being the word Luke used to describe a joy greater than all other joys).
I am reminded of a story concerning a mother who was attempting to tell her little daughter the meaning of the holiday. The mother told her that Christmas was the time of year we celebrate the birthday of Jesus, God’s Son. The little girl asked her mother why, then, Jesus didn’t get the presents if it was his birthday. The mother explained the tradition of gift exchange as a way of showing love for one another and the matter was dropped at that. On Christmas Eve, the little girl arrived in the living room with a gift-wrapped package and placed it under the tree. “What’s in the box?” her mother asked. “A gift for Jesus. I’m leaving it under the tree so he can open it tonight while I am asleep,” replied the little girl.
The mother did not want her daughter to be disappointed, so during the night she opened the package. To her confusion, there was nothing in the box. The next morning her daughter raced into the living room to see if her package had been opened. It had! She shouted to her mother, “Jesus opened his present last night!” The mystified mother walked over to her daughter and asked what she had given Jesus (knowing that the box was completely empty). The little girl explained, “I figured that Jesus has about everything he needs, and I can’t give him much cuz I’m just a little girl. But there is one thing I can give him. So I decided to give him a BOX OF LOVE.”
It’s hard to sum up Christmas any better—Christmas truly is a phenomenal act of love. C.S. Lewis once gave the perfect definition of Christmas when he said—“The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God.”
When the angel chorus arrived on the Bethlehem plain that night two-thousand years ago, his announcement was precisely that the God of heaven had provided the only way necessary for human being to experience life with Him. An unmatched act of love! Truly good news of great joy which will be for all people of all time. So in the midst of all the potentially hectic wanderings and meanderings the month of December can thrust your way, remember the great joy that God invites us to participate in through His amazing act of love. I Close with C.S. Lewis’ poem of Christmas:
Among the oxen (like an ox I’m slow) I see a glory in the stable grow
Which, with the ox’s dullness might at length Give me an ox’s strength.
Among the asses (stubborn I as they) I see my Saviour where I looked for hay;
So may my beastlike folly learn at least
The patience of a beast.
Among the sheep (I like a sheep have strayed)
I watch the manger where my Lord is laid;
Oh that my baa-ing nature would win thence
Some woolly innocence! (http://mereorthodoxy.com/the-nativity)
Blessing on the Journey, Pastor Dewayne