By Not Known
The Christmas scene is well and truly with us. The Orchard Road display is up and
Christmas carols croon behind the ringing of cash registers in the shopping malls.
Families take holidays and employees calculate the year-end bonus. Restaurants
offer Christmas dishes, homes are decorated and cards are sent.
Is that all?
What of those for whom Christmas is a time of increased struggle! A time when
grief is greater, life’s loneliness is intensified, domestic problems abound and
work’s busyness is made even busier? Why should they welcome Christmas?
Matthew takes us to God’s Christmas. It was a time of struggle, with an unwanted
journey to pay burdensome taxes, an embarrassing pregnancy and a murderous
king. There were no decorations, festive foods, holidays or bonuses.
But this was God’s Christmas – the season of grace. Matthew records the angel’s
news that May’s son would be called Jesus, for he would save his people from sin.
He then quotes Isaiah to give the name Immanuel, God with us.
Much can be said on the theme of God with us. But the key thing is Matthew’s
pairing of the names Jesus and Immanuel. God was with us for the purpose of
saving, And so the cradle is always overshadowed by the Cross.
All this is crisply presented in this month’s banner text:Here is a trustworthy
saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save
sinners (1 Tim 1:15).
That’s the good news for all. Decorations, carols, holidays, bonuses and meals can
disappear, but this truth remains. God became one of us so that we can become
one with him. When we believe in Jesus we receive the salvation that was his
Christmas purpose and Easter accomplishment.
Now that’s a song worth singing and a story worth telling. Let’s keep our Christmas
focus squarely on Jesus so that our seasonal joy is in God’s saviour rather than in
the seasonal ephemera.
Let’s celebrate God with us to save – hey, that’s Christmas!