“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto us is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11
Silence. For four hundred years, there was nothing. No prophets calling out. No visions from God to His people. No voices crying out to the people saying ‘thus says the Lord.’ Nothing! For four hundred years! That’s more than four generations of people with no word from God. I would tend to think that hope had to be almost non-existent.
Then suddenly, in true God-like fashion, like an approaching storm stirs the calm waters of the sea, God stepped in! He didn’t shout. He didn’t throw down fire from heaven. He didn’t flood the earth like in the days of Noah. He chose to break the four hundred year silence with the whimper of a baby’s cry. That lonely, dark, cold night in a Bethlehem cattle stall, in a hand-made wooden manger, God stepped out of heaven and into our world. His world. His creation. In the form of a baby. Our Savior had come to earth through a virgin birth. Miraculous? Yes! Surprising? Certainly! But to those who believed the prophets of old, expected! Anticipated! Hope was restored! The silence was shattered!
Jesus had come! A Savior was given to the world! Did He show up the way people envisioned? Probably not. Most everyone expected a hero-like kind of appearance. Someone who would come to end the tyranny of the Roman government over the people. But God saw the bigger picture. He looked past the temporal circumstances and their cries for release to the eternal need of forgiveness of sin, the only thing that separated them, and us, from Him. So, to satisfy His wrath over our sin, He sent a Savior, not a governor. And that Savior was born in a most humble scene. Wrapped in swaddling clothes, not in a royal robe. Laid in a manger, not seated on a ruling throne. Our eternal God and Savior was here. And life would forever be changed.
We celebrate the Christmas season in a variety of ways. We decorate. We give gifts. We gather as friends and family. But do we remember why? Are our gatherings and celebrations empty and void of the true meaning of this beautiful holiday? Maybe this is the year that we truly celebrate Jesus. Maybe this is the year we look past the façade that the boxes and bows bring, and we see the Savior who came to give light to the darkness, hope to the hopeless, and life to the lifeless.
This year, let’s allow our focus be on our God, who came in the form of a baby; the One who gave up His right to heaven, so that you and I could live. And if we listen close enough, through the silence of a peaceful Christmas night, we just might hear that same baby’s cry that shattered the deafening silence over 2000 years ago. A cry that calls out to us to celebrate! Why? Because the Light has come into the world. And through that Light we have life!
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