Good morning everyone:
“Ready for Christmas?” I asked a friend yesterday. His response was simply a half-smile and a deep sigh. No words were necessary. I knew what he was saying. “Christmas” as we celebrate it has many moving parts and it’s often a rush to the last minute to see whether they all fall into place they way we intend. But really when you think about it, Christmas is not so much about all that we feel we have to do or want to do. It is about what God has done for us.
There was no last-minute, harried rush on God’s part. Luke in his familiar second chapter doesn’t record that God on the spur of the moment told Mary and Joseph to get to Bethlehem as fast as they could. We don’t hear that they suddenly jumped up in a panic, threw all the dirty dishes in the sink, and rushed off in order to just barely make it in time for Jesus’ birth in the stable. No, God knew exactly the time and circumstances, not just for the Lord’s birth, but for all the “moving parts” needed to make it happen just as the prophets had said. When Paul wrote of God’s Son coming into the world, there is no hint of uncertainty that it would actually happen. He matter-of-factly told the Galatian believers: “But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons” (Gal. 4:4-5).
The house may not be as clean as you would like. You may not have done all the baking or found that perfect gift for someone. You may feel totally unprepared for Christmas. But then recall the first Christmas 2,000 years ago. I would guess that Mary and Joseph in many ways felt unprepared for Jesus’ birth, being away from home with no lodging available. Yet for them, as well as for us, Christmas is not a matter of what we do, but of what God in divine love did for all mankind. He sent His Son to be our Lord and Savior!
No matter how much there is to do today, let’s take time to reflect on our great need for a Savior. If it hadn’t been for our sin, there would have been no reason for Jesus to come and offer Himself as the perfect sacrifice. Before the service tonight bow your head and go to the Lord in prayer confessing your sin. Then look forward to responding in heartfelt awe with songs of praise to the news the children will proclaim: “There is born to you a Savior, Christ the Lord!”
Our service tonight begins at 6 p.m. with pre-service music starting at 5:30 p.m. Why not invite a friend?
The Christmas Day Song Service is tomorrow at 10:30 a.m.
In the name of the Christ Child,