Jesus, Lord at Thy Birth

The Gospel is hard news, but it will always be good news. 
I love Christmas. I love this time of year. There is an element that is missing for the rest of the year. People may say it is just another day, but that assertion does not fool me. This time of year adds more harmony and “Joy to the World.” A great miracle of hope surrounds this most “Wonderful Time of the Year.” There are images of families gathered around presents, comfort foods consumed by the handful, and songs of merriment flowing from our radios.
However, sadly, there is another element that creeps through this season: there are some people who identify more with the Grinch than Bob Cratchit. They are tired of people (in general) and the hullabaloo of the day, and they believe that the celebration is “noise, noise, noise, noise.” They’d rather be miserly than engage in the delight of the day. They see other people as a blight on the world and think it would be better if they occupied this planet alone. Glaring down from Mt. Crumpit, frustrated in shuffling and bustling below. 
It is because, on the most basic and fundamental level, there is a juxtaposition of the idea of Christmas. On one hand, we love the notion of God coming to earth as a human, born of a virgin, and angels rejoicing—we love the thought of Emmanuel. God coming to earth places us on a pedestal, elevated for our own glory that God would put on flesh, living and walking amongst us. We don’t like to think “Why” God had to come down from heaven in the first place. 
We love the birth of the Savior, but we prefer not to think about the implications of needing a savior. The only reason we need a savior is because we all need rescuing from our sins. This concept for many people is offensive; we want others to see us as good, warm-hearted, gift-giving people (the Christmas spirit), but in reality, we are rotten, cold-hearted Scrooges. They effectively believe, “I’m perfect, and everyone else is the problem.” The Grinch, in his seclusion, and Scrooge, engulfed in money… are shielding themselves from the other people in the world. 
We love to think about the idea of the Prince of Peace-
Isaiah 9:6 – “For a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”
But we don’t like to think about how that peace was achieved. 
Colossians 1:19-20 – “For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”
And that is the perplexity of Christmas and the Crucifixion. You can’t have one without the other; the wonderful part for me is that I can celebrate them both. In fact, I can more fully appreciate the meaning of Christmas because I know that I have a Savior-
“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1-2). 
It is not only I who has a Savior, but the entire world, and this keeps me from being a Grinchy-Scrooge. I see the joy brought to every man, woman, and child because of the graciousness of God. When I hear the words of “Silent Night,” I know that these words hold more value to me than those who don’t know the full extent of that message. 

“Christ the Savior is born
Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth.”

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