It was a quiet night in my house; my toddler was sleeping, my teenager was busy, and my husband was working. It was the perfect opportunity to slip out into the city to wander around a nearby shopping center.
With my head down against the cold, I watched the Christmas lights reflect on the damp asphalt as I walked. My heart was heavy.
I was disappointed with my own sin and bewildered with the world’s sin. A dread began to creep into my heart as I pondered the broken without hope.
As I passed by each store, I saw white teeth smiling at me in frozen cheer from every window advertisement and I felt tired. I felt like I didn’t have it in me. My heart and the world felt wretched and desperate with sin, and I could feel myself recoil from the happy product of Christmas.
In the Holy Spirit’s compassion and faithfulness, I heard a voice whisper, “Christmas is for you. Christmas is for the weary. The hope of Christmas is for the wretched and the desperate.”
The Bible tell us that Zechariah had doubted the Lord’s promises and was struck temporarily mute as a result. When the Lord restored his voice he broke out into prophesy about his son, John, the one who would prepare the way for the one who was bringing salvation.
“because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Christ the Redeemer was born to save the wretched, and the desperate, the thief, and the liar.
His birth dawned like a sunrise over a darkened world. He is the sunrise that pierced the darkness of the shadow of death.
This is Christmas. Do not let your doubt or weariness temporarily mute your worship.
Christmas is for you, weary Christian.
It’s for the parts of us that still feel the chill of the shadow of death.
May Christmas be our sacred reminder of God’s tender mercy that sent his Son from on high to give light to all who sit in darkness. Christ has come and his mercies rise with the sun each day to guide our blistered feet into the way of peace.
May each day’s sunrise remind you of the coming day when,
“No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need not light, lamp, or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever." Rev 22:3-5
And may it remind you of the coming day when,
“The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give you light; but the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw itself; for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended.” Is 60:19-20
So don’t wander to the false fluorescents of our cultures happy Christmas product.
You are craving the Life that is the light of men.
Turn your face to the light that shines in the darkness, for the darkness has not overcome Him.
Come thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free
From our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee
(lyrics by Robert Robinson)