“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid! For behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people’” (Luke 2:10).

Great joy.
Sounds good, doesn’t it?

We could use an extra helping of great joy right now. As 2020 lurches to a close, no one knows what the last few days will bring. Perhaps they will be peaceful and non-newsworthy, which would be a great surprise after the events of this year.

Worldwide lockdown.
Job loss.
Political crisis.

The list goes on and on. The last twelve months have felt like crawling across a minefield blindfolded. Yet here we are, on Christmas Day, celebrating the birth of our Lord.

That means we made it. Somehow we survived the strangest year we have ever known. Take a deep breath. Relax. Exhale. Smile. Look around. You deserve a medal for hanging in there long enough to make it to Christmas Day.

On one of his speaking tours, Richard Neuhaus was picked up at the airport by a man who kept talking about how bad things were in America and how difficult these times are. Finally, Rev. Neuhaus had had enough of the doom and gloom talk. “These may be bad times, but they are the only times we are given. And despair is a mortal sin.”

Despair is not an option. Let’s make that a rule for ourselves: No despair on Christmas Day! How can we be sad when Christ was born in Bethlehem?

All that God has to say to us can be wrapped up in one word: “Jesus.” And not just any Jesus, but only the Lord Jesus Christ revealed in the New Testament. He alone is the Lord from heaven. He alone can save us. All that God has for you and me is wrapped up in his Son. No matter what difficulties we face or the decisions we must make, God leads us back to that one-word answer: “Jesus.”

In an interview with David Frost, Billy Graham said he hoped the last word he uttered before dying was simply this: “Jesus.” We can’t do any better than that.

Two thousand years ago, God sent a gift wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Jesus is God’s Christmas gift to you.

Merry Christmas!
The happy day is here at last.
Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

Lord of all, we come before you, celebrating this happy day when Eternity entered time, and the Infinite became finite. Give us ears to hear the glad tidings and voices to sing with exuberant praise that at long last our Redeemer has come! Amen.

Musical bonus: We end our Advent journey with a newer Christmas song. Let’s celebrate together as we listen to He Has Come by All Things New.

Merry Christmas to one and all!

Do you have any thoughts or questions about this post?