While this letter has pictures of 'peace' and 'joy', we know that our world is full of fear and strife. We grieve with families in Newtown, CT and at the same time pray for the safety of our loved ones. As Christians we seek a merry Christmas (just like everyone else) but we know full well that Christ did not come into this world because humanity deserved salvation. Instead it is just the opposite.
Christ was sent as a baby, the most vulnerable human condition possible. He was sent through a woman chosen by God. Mary, a woman who agreed to God's plan even though it put her in both physical and economic danger, who would experience both great joy and immeasurable heartache as the mother of our Saviour. Her betrothed, Joseph, would agree only after the angel's convincing, not to follow the ways of the world and divorce his pregnant bride. Still, hardship and tragedy followed. They had run for their lives from King Herod.
God gave us the freedom to cause suffering and peace, fear and joy. Instead of separating and distancing from our destructive actions, God chose to join us in pain and suffering. Sending His only begotten son to suffer and die that you and I might have life abundant and eternal, God suffered with us and continues to weep over our sinful actions just as Jesus did over Jerusalem.
May the tragedies in our world remind us that we are called to be peacemakers and that we are responsible to show the love of Christ to the world. All too often Christian love has been replaced with worldly hate. May we, like our Christ, bear one another's burdens. May we mourn with those who morn and rejoice with those who rejoice.
Let us remember this Christmas that Jesus did not come to give us riches and wealth beyond measure as the world understands but instead came to make us holy and right with our father in heaven. This is the greatest Christmas gift ever!
May your Christmas be filled with joy and may we proclaim along with the angels who announced Christ's birth, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace on whom his favor rests." Luke 2:14
May God bless you and others through you this Christmas. Joy to the world, the Lord has come!