“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” These words from a song by the same name, recorded and released by Andy Williams on his first Christmas album in 1963, sum up the feelings of many regarding the holiday season. For many folks the Christmas holiday season is indeed the high point of the year as it signals perhaps one of the few times when the extended family will gather around a scrumptious meal to spend time together. Gifts will be exchanged, with new toys for young and old appearing to replace old, worn out models. Cousins who rarely see one another will enjoy renewing acquaintances and catching up on what’s been happening in the lives of their extended family. There’s much to do and plenty of excitement to go around as we prepare for the Christmas holidays.
As we hopefully pause at some point in the “busy-ness” and bustle of our holiday preparations to reflect on the true significance of Christmas, our thoughts go back some 2000 years to a quiet evening when some shepherds were tending their sheep outside of Bethlehem. Their normal routine was shattered as a bright light shone around them and angels announced to them the good news of the birth of the long-awaited Messiah. “Today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord,” the angels declared. After 400 years of prophetic silence this was good news indeed! God had remembered His people and had sent them a Savior.
That same message is still incredibly good news in our world today. In the midst of so much heartache, brokenness, economic distress, and suffering brought on by both natural disasters and strife between peoples and nations, the good news of Christ’s coming to offer us salvation is a message that we dare not keep to ourselves. May the hope of Christmas fill your heart with joy and peace as you celebrate His coming.