I confess, I always feel anxious about writing the December church newsletter article. We’re entering the annual maelstrom of activity and merriment. The Advent and Christmas seasons have two thousand years of tradition, music, stories, musings, reflections, and observations. How can write anything that will be heard above the noise? How do I say something new and fresh that catches attention in the midst of the carnival?
There isn’t anything I can say or do. The story speaks for itself.
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light, on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned …. In Him was life and the life was the light of men and the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it …. 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 …. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Behind the packages and trees and lights and songs and parties – behind it all is the story of our Lord. This is more wonderful than any manufactured merriment or enforced festivity. After all, “…the kids jingle belling and everyone telling you be of good cheer” is cute and fun, but “… long lay the world in sin and error pining, til He appears and the soul felt its worth” is strengthening to the spirit.
And the further we dig into the story, the more we realize it’s part of a much bigger story. A story of God who loves and redeems. A story of God’s beloved people who rebel, but He rescues them anyway. A story of how the good news of God’s love is carried to all the nations. It’s a story that includes kings and housewives, carpenters and centurions, fishermen and philosophers, businesswomen and politicians. It’s a story that stretches across the ages and carries us along in it’s sweep.
So this season, let everything remind you of the story. The wonderful, enchanting, amazing, deeply true story of Jesus, the Messiah. Everything else is window dressing.
Soli Deo Gloria
Originally published in the December 2018 issue of the Covenant-First Presbyterian Courier