Christmas Day is a time for unwrapping gifts. I can’t think of any more needful or comforting gift than the first Christmas gift, our Lord Jesus. God speaks into the brokenness of our world, not just through his words, but by sending his Son. Through Jesus, he is present with us.
Perhaps you’ve wondered over the last year why doesn’t God just end suffering. We don’t know the exact answer, but we know that whatever the reason, it isn’t one of indifference. God hates suffering and was willing to come into the world and get immersed in it.
The famous novelist Dorothy Sayers wrote, “For whatever reason, God chose to make man as he is – limited and suffering and subject to sorrows and death – he (God) had the honesty and the courage to take his own medicine. Whatever game he is playing with his creation, he has kept his own rules and played fair. He can exact nothing from man that he has not exacted from himself. He has himself gone through the whole of human experience, from the trivial irritations of family life and the cramping conditions of hard work and lack of money, to the worst horrors of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair, and death. When he was a man, he played the man. He was born in poverty and died in disgrace, and thought it worthwhile.”
Jesus, the gift of Christmas, gives you comfort for dealing with suffering because we see God’s willingness to suffer with us. Even more, we see that God suffered for us. The Apostle Paul says, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim. 4:15).
Maybe, like me, you feel weary. The last year is something most of us would not like to repeat. But I’m not just weary of the world’s brokenness. I’m weary of my own brokenness: my character defects, broken promises, besetting sins, and settled idols.
Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection guarantees that there will be a day when that weariness will end. Those who follow Jesus will live in perfect peace, righteousness, and rest; and there will be no more sin.
Christmas is a guarantee of help and comfort for you now and a guarantee of what is to come. Above everything else, this is the Christmas gift to cherish.
On behalf of the staff and Council of St Andrew’s, Megan and I wish you a wonderful Christmas, as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour.