We have recession and depression.
We face elections and politics, side vs. side.
We experience new challenges and threats, senseless controversies, public scandals.
We endure health lectures, self-improvement harping, guilt trips wrapped around product endorsements.
We suffer through poorly-conceived entertainment.
We seek after something that will give our lives meaning and we hope against worldly hope that there will be a holiday miracle that brings that meaning into our existence.
And so, now we pause in this oh-so-busy season of the oh-so-busy year for the old, old story:
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
But the story doesn’t end there.
That story continued as that miraculous baby grew and explained His purpose to the world.
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
“For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
His death, Atonement and Resurrection brought followers who explained His role for us to embrace, even after all these years.
2 Corinthians 5:
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
And the One we memorialize during this season, on this very night, promised us we would not go through this life alone, if we would but turn to Him, would trust in Him.
“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
‘Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
‘And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’”
That promise is what allows believers — regardless of how this year went or what the prospects ahead of us look like — to believe: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
— Chuck Smith