Christmas signals the coming of Christ. It is a time of hope, love, joy and peace. It is a time to reflect on God’s faithfulness in providing salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Indeed, this same Jesus came to us as a baby born in a filthy, animal stable during a time of moral uncertainty and political unrest. This same Jesus lived according to God’s plan and died on a cross for our sins. But, this same Jesus is now the risen Christ seated at the right hand of the Father and interceding for us (Romans 8:34).
Embedded in the Christmas story is God’s redemptive act. However, there is a dark side – the mass killing of innocent children at the hands of King Herod (Matthew 2:16). The very coming of Christ, the Messiah, had so threatened the forces of evil that the birth of the baby Jesus triggered the slaughter of innocence that brought about heart-wrenching grief and unspeakable pain to mothers who felt hopeless and insecure in the face of ungodly powers. In spite of all this, the Christmas message was not lost and God’s plan could not be derailed.
Today, we are faced with situations similar to those during the time of Jesus’ birth. We see rampant evil and immorality as depicted in mass murders, sexual harassment of women, and the inaction (and cowardice) of many of our political and religious leaders in confronting oppression and victimization. Our lack of moral clarity and the tragedies we endure all point to the real reason Christ came – to ensure that God’s plan of rescue (salvation) is made available to every person regardless of her/his background.
So, let us rejoice during this Advent season! The Messiah has come. The world can be assured that God’s promise of deliverance from sin is both symbolized and realized in Jesus Christ, who is God’s most precious gift to us (John 3:16). So, as we celebrate with gifts and as we gather with our loved ones, let us be encouraged by the true meaning of Christmas. May our lives reflect the light of God in a dark world.