It can seem impossible to go forward with normal Christmas plans after the tragedy of Friday in Connecticut. I’ve started a few other holiday posts, but today I need to share something else first.
It is easy in a happy, jingle-jangle holiday season, to forget why we have Christmas in the first place.
Christ came, because the world is lost.
Christ came, because there is a very real enemy on this earth. And Christ came to conquer him.
Christ came to bring healing. Hope. Freedom. True joy.
As long as we are on this earth, until the New Earth is here, there will be trouble. But Christ said “fear not, for I have overcome the world.” The earth still groans with the battle. But we know who ultimately wins.
The ache is so deep, and so real. I can’t even imagine. At first I thought “how do we even ‘do Christmas’ after a tragedy like this?” And then the words of the overly-familiar carols rang through my mind. And it is as though this darkness has been a lens, focusing the Light of Christmas. Because what we are celebrating is not Santa Claus, or jingle bells, or even the “spirit of Christmas,” where people are supposed to be more loving, and generous and happy. What we are celebrating is, Christ came.
He came because the world is broken. We realize it even more after last week. The darkness is so very real. Our need is so real.. And because He came, we can experience the beginning now, of the joy to come. There are signs of His presence. He is Emmanuel, “God with us.” He has given us His Holy Spirit as a down payment on our great inheritance.
Without having the words, I ache and pray for the families in Connecticut, and for the ones who are serving those families. And I sing this song as a prayer:
God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan’s power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy
Maybe you don’t believe. Maybe you think Christians are crazy. But I can tell you… this world is an awfully dark place, without the Light.