Before we get lost with the happiness of the holidays, let us savor the joy that Christmas brings.
Joy — because Christmas is about love. We love because God loved us first (1 John 4:19). “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). At Christmas we remember that great love of our loving Father who gave us what counts most to his heart— our Lord Jesus Christ — to suffer and die for our salvation.
Joy — because Christmas is about redemption. No amount of personal sacrifice could ever remove our sins. No amount of good works could ever indebt God to grant us salvation. Only by the blood of the Lamb was man reconciled to God, and on that first Christmas, the Lamb was born at last.
Joy — because Christmas is about God’s faithfulness. God’s promise to send the world a Savior as foretold by the prophets of the Old Testament and as announced by John the Baptist found fulfillment in Christmas. Truly, none of God’s promises ever failed; everything came to fruition. And just as he was faithful in the past, so will he be now and forever.
Joy — because is Christmas is about humility. By being born as a human person, God shared our humanity. Jesus became like us in everything except sin. God, the Creator, became a part of his creation — born as a helpless babe in a manger, persecuted even as a child, and growing in wisdom and strength under the care of his own human family.
Joy — because Christmas is about hope. The hope for Christ’s first coming at Christmas has now been followed by the hope for his second coming at the end of time. The people of long ago have long waited for the birth of the Savior; now, we wait for the return of our mighty King. Soon we will stand before him to receive our eternal sentence, either to be united with him forever in heaven or to be separated from him forever in hell. Only in him does our hope for eternal joy and peace rests.
As we exchange gifts this Christmas, may we then not forget the greatest gift of all — Christ, the cause of our joy. Have a joyful Christmas… Hosanna in excelsisDeo.