Christmas Celebrations

Time does fly; does it not?  To where has the year gone?  I have no doubt that, at least for us adults, it has absolutely flown by us!

 

Yet; here we are – It’s Christmas time!  I can hear the great pop singer Andy Williams singing in the background, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”  Our Christmas tree at home will be put up with my dear wife and lovely little granddaughter to the tune of Dean Martin’s rendition of, “It’s a Marshmallow World!”  And the entry of a great many stores will still be adorned by the bells and kettles of the Salvation Army.

 

The sad reality, too, is that the season will be fraught with anxiety, loneliness and disappointment for many.  The so-called “culture wars” will be peopled and fought by so-called “culture warriors.”  Someone will get into trouble for extending the salutation of saying “Merry Christmas.”  And Christians elsewhere in the world will gather together in joy of their Savior’s birthday but in fear of religious terrorists or ideological enemies. 

 

I say this to those who make merry and who, Grinch-like, make trouble:  That little one who was born in Bethlehem was some Baby!  He is a wonderful Savior, as His followers do attest.  And He is the Sovereign Lord who defies the anticipations of any presidential aspirant to the White House, whatever one’s political affiliation!

 

The mandate of full disclosure requires me to fully disclose that I am one of His followers, but such an ethical requirement is not necessary for those of us who are lovingly compelled to make Him known.  It was the love of God that brought forth such a beautiful little baby into such an ugly world, replete with the travesties of fallen life.  It is His love that draws fallen and needy men and women like me to Himself in loving rapport and relationship.  And it is Christ’s love that leads us to declare, through word and deed, the Good News:  “God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3.16).

 

Has there ever been a more beautiful message than that?  There are other messages; assuredly.  The Reading Room of the British library and Parisian garrets gave birth to Communism and the killing fields of Asia.  Academic halls and Madison Avenue boardrooms have paved the way for the colorless, humorless, godless, materialistic and narcissistic mindset that seems to have caught hold of our culture.

 

But the Gospel that has brought life and liberty and love to so many was conceived in the heart and mind of God Himself.  It is to Him that we give thanks and pay homage for the message of the angel to the shepherds: “Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign to you:  You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2.10-12) – To one and all:  Merry Christmas!

 

Pastor Bradley E. Lacey (December 2016)