It seems that lately, there has been a lot of talk about the end of the world. Between the Mayan calendar and the fiscal cliff, almost everyone seems up-tight about the future, or perhaps the lack thereof. Some people are really taking this Mayan calendar business seriously; some are not. We jokingly told our daughter that her getting her driver’s license that day was a sign of the end-times. Whatever your own opinions about all this, it certainly seems that many troubling issues are suddenly becoming prominent. To be honest, I don’t know how all of these problems will be resolved. Does reading about these things make you worry? I sometimes get a knot in my stomach watching the news. It seems that these days, considering the way journalists present information to the public, “the news” should really be called “the bad news.” All the doom and gloom has at times made me wonder about the future. How does all this end? Unfortunately, I don’t have any more answers about the specifics of the future than anyone. There’s no “grand secret” to explaining how all our current crises will turn out. There is, however, one truth in which we can have complete confidence. This is the truth embodied in Christmas. The Old Testament is a record of God intervening in the affairs of men. Time and time again God’s people got themselves into trouble, and time and time again God came to their rescue. Each time He promised them that if they stayed close to Him, he would sustain and save them even in the most difficult times. Yet over and over they forgot God’s promises and power, and sure enough they fell into hopelessness and despair. They would face some great crisis; God would send a messenger or a prophet to tell the people to turn to Him. Yet again, they would listen for a moment, but then go back to their old ways. I often catch myself thinking, “If God would do some of those miracles today it would be easy to believe.” The reality is I am just like the hard-hearted people in the Old Testament. I see evidences of God’s goodness and provision, and I turn away just like they did. How easily we forget God’s past blessings, the moments when we called out to Him and He rescued us.
At Christmas, though, we witness the ultimate interjection of God into our lives. He does not come in a cloud or in a burning bush, but as one of us. At Christmas, we celebrate not only Jesus’ birth. In fact, in his whole life, He set the example of supreme self-sacrifice. He was God, yet out of love He stooped low enough to take on our weak human flesh. It is this awe-inspiring sacrifice, the mystery of the Incarnation, which we celebrate at Christmas. Jesus came to show us how much God loves us, to be the substitute for us by paying for our sins. With Christmas in mind, I can think about all these different troubles, or possible troubles, and remember that I don’t have to worry. The world is often dark. But God loves us. Christmas is a sort of divine D-Day; the Light has already made a beachhead against all the evil and uncertainty in this world. At this point, it is impossible for evil to win the day. At Christmas, and on the Cross, that most important battlefield, God has already won the victory. So let’s rejoice in Christmas! We may still have to endure evil and uncertainty a little while. But their final fate has been decided. Thanks to Christmas and the Cross, we have only to wait, with longing, for the final victory celebration. Merry Christmas! From Need Project