I guess some might call me a news junkie. Not so much anymore. There’s just so much junk in the news.
Breaking news is so often heartbreaking news. Unspeakable cruelty. Mutual destruction politics. Mass shootings. A ticking time bomb world.
And then there’s Christmas.
Linus comes on stage to answer Charlie Brown’s anguished, “Can anybody tell me what Christmas is all about?” And standing in the spotlight, the boy with a blanket begins to quote from the Bible’s account of the coming of Jesus.
As he does, we hear the five best words in the Christmas story. As the angel announces to the shepherds:
“Fear not, for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy … for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”
With all the storm clouds on our horizon these days, five words jump off the page in my Bible.
“I bring you good news!”
Like water in a desert, food in a famine. Good news! Light breaking out in a dark night. From Bethlehem. On today’s “West Bank.”
And what is this news that will split history in two?
A baby. Like no other baby.
So what is it about Jesus coming into the world – or into a life – that is such an antidote to our fears?
He is “a Savior who is Christ the Lord.”
A word that says to every lonely heart, “You are forever loved!” Never alone. Because God’s own Son has come down to us ... to live life like us ... and to once and for all show how very much God loves us. Enough to pay the price to be our Savior – our Rescuer.
Going all the way to an excruciating death on a cross. To pay for our sin and have us with Him forever in heaven. Finally one love that will never desert you, never divorce you, never die on you.
In a desperately lonely world, that is really good news.
So is the coming of ...
The One who comes to right what’s wrong and fix what’s broken. What no man can fix. Your broken family. Your broken marriage. Your broken child. Your broken relationship. Your broken heart.
I’ve seen what He can do with a broken heart. A broken me.
Jesus knows broken. Because He was broken. With nails in His hands and feet and a crown of thorns jammed on His head. “He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed ... He was crushed for our sins” (Isaiah 53:5).
We hand Him the pieces. He hands us a new beginning.
And this Savior, this Messiah is still even more ...
With news of a world and a future seemingly spinning out of control, the Master of two billion galaxies has come to where we are! To belong to Him is to be forever safe. No matter the economy ... the election ... the dangers ... the diagnosis – “He’s got the whole world in His hands.”
And if He’s got you, there is nothing to fear. Whatever you’re afraid of, Jesus is Lord of!
It was two weeks before Christmas 2009 when my beloved Karen suddenly needed open heart surgery to save her life. In the long days afterward in Cardiac Intensive Care, her room was all tubes and monitors. With no sign of Christmas.
Until I bought a tiny ceramic manger with Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus in it. One word above them summed up for me – and for our troubling times – what the coming of Jesus can bring to a life.
From out of that manger ...
©Ronald P. Hutchcraft 2023
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