Thursday, December 20, 2018

God's Christmas Gift Luke 2

I'm thinking about Christmas as much as I can (as a human being) from Jesus' point of view. As a child we set up a manger every year. My Dad kept adding a new figurine to the setting every few years when he found one at an after Christmas sale during his lunch hour. We unpacked and set up the manger under the Christmas tree every year. The little statue of Jesus was left out until Christmas Eve. The heart of the story was there--and we waited every year to put the little figurine into the hay.

This year as I come towards Christmas it's more clear than ever before that real gift isn't under the tree--the real gift is Jesus.

I don't know that I have words to explain what that means to say that Jesus is the real gift. I just trust, more and more as the years go by, that Jesus is the Good News. Jesus, at least for me, is the only reason that Christmas matters. A few cruddy Christmas times have convinced me all the more that Jesus matters these days above all. It's clear that the Good News is that Jesus didn't just come to Bethlehem. It's good news to know his teaching and miracles--but that's not all. It's good news to know of his suffering, death, and resurrection. But that's not all. For me the hope is know that Jesus is at work in the world today just like he was from the first moments of creation. Some days Jesus is a promise--and other days Jesus is a hope--but Christmas reminds me again this year that he's already here. Whether our days take us to work or to the bedside of a dying loved one the promise is still real--Jesus is here with us and for us. He's the Good News.

Over the years I've tried to find ideas and words to describe my faith. But the more I try the more clear it gets that all I have is Jesus. I've found something very helpful in a presentation given by an old teacher of mine. He said that the Gospel is not an idea--he offered apologies to Greek thinkers--here who look for ideas to debate. Instead the Gospel, he said clearly, is a person.

My favorite line in the Christmas story is the one that the angels shared with shepherd and Linus shared with Charlie Brown--
And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11 RSV
And Christmas at it's best is a reminder that the Good News is here for all the world and his name is Jesus.
Peace and thanks for reading,

No comments: