In seminary I heard there was once a pastor on Christmas Eve who preached a sermon in which he highlighted all that was wrong in the world Jesus was born into – subjugated lands, slavery, gross gender inequality, rampant militarism, hunger, poor health care, and the like. He spoke of the many ways human beings mistreated each other a little over 2000 years ago and the reason why they needed, and we still need, a savior. People hated the sermon. That’s not what they wanted to hear on Christmas Eve.
Nevertheless, what the pastor asserted was true (even if his timing might not have been the best). And on the longest night of the year, perhaps when there are more than a few people in our world who are sick, unemployed, suffering from a broken relationship (or one that is over all together), who are watching Christmas coming from behind bars, under a bridge, who cannot pay their bills, who hear bombs or gunfire in the background, or are alone in an assisted living facility – it is important to remember God sent them Jesus too.
God cares about the poor. God cares about those who are sick. God cares about those that mourn. God loves peacemakers.
God sent his son into the world to help change it – to change us. God sent his son so that death is not the end of the story. God sent his son so that any distance or alienation we have had from God could be erased.
If this isn’t the best Christmas this year for you – know that better ones are still in store for you. God loves you. God always has. And for the many things still wrong in this world (and even within us), Jesus came to help make it right again.
Pastors and Stephen Ministers are great resources if you need to talk.
I wish you, a beloved child of God, a Merry Christmas.
Until next time,