The World Needs Christmas

Posted by Ruth Beresford on

We are approaching the end of Advent. This year your preaching team heard an Advent message about the apocalypse - the end of the world as we know it - described in scripture with all sorts of natural and human cataclysms and crises, like earthquakes, wars, and family betrayal. In the same era that Christianity was emerging out of Judaism, Mount Vesuvius buried Pompeii, and Jerusalem suffered a devastation wrought by the Romans, including the destruction of the Temple. Families were separated by the shifts in politics and religion. It was a dangerous time and a turning point. All that sounds very familiar to me. The world needs our Christmas.

It was after that cataclysmic first century decade that Saint Luke penned his "orderly account" of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. All the details in his description of Jesus' birth are also apocalyptic, for Luke writes of God's disclosure, God's revealing of a new beginning amid all the endings, a birth governed and guided by the Holy Spirit to reveal the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world. All cataclysms are watershed moments. All crises are turning points. All apocalypses are events that disclose, or uncover or reveal. The world needs our Christmas to celebrate the revelation that God provides for us a Savior, who is Christ. The world needs the Christian gospel that God is with us and for us - that in our crisis we turn to find God there, giving the way and light to guide us to peace.

The world needs our Christmas celebrations. In this cataclysmic time, the world needs our disclosure, our revelation that dignity is due every child of God. The world needs our Christmas gifts that show we treasure one another. The world needs our lighted trees to show the true light that still shines in the darkness. The world needs our Christmas to reveal that joy can surround sorrow, that love will heal the heart. Listen again to the song of the angels and the message of all the great Christmas carols. Sing them as Christmas arrives and share the good news contained in them. Christ is born today and we are born anew, disclosing the loving power and purpose of God, whose perfect end is peace.

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