* This post concludes a series of Advent devotionals that was posted daily during Advent 2014. For an intro to this series of posts, please read the initial post here.
Christmas Day: December 25 – Jesus Christ: God with Us!
What more can we say? God has entered our darkness and turned it into light. We were hopeless; but in Jesus Christ, God has filled us with an overflowing hope. We were without peace; but in Jesus Christ, God has enveloped us in his all-encompassing shalom. We were without joy; but in Jesus Christ, God has given us the gift of a joy that endures all circumstances in eager anticipation of Jesus Christ’s return. We desperately needed to be loved; and in Jesus Christ, God has lavished upon us the glorious riches of his love. Jesus is the life that lights our way! Pause for a time of silent prayer.
God’s Response: Luke 2:1-21
(light five candles). We light these candles to remember that Jesus Christ is the light of the world. In his light, we receive God’s faithfulness. God’s faithfulness has been made known, not through a sudden escape but by God jumping into the midst of our brokenness to be with us. In Jesus Christ, God has entered our suffering, taking all our tangled mess on himself so as to undo our disordered affections (and all the knotty fears, doubts, sorrows, and death that accompany them) through his life, death, resurrection, and ascension. While we rejoice in remembering Jesus’ birth, we also cry out that there is still much to be renewed. We take comfort that even now, Jesus and the Spirit are interceding on our behalf. In this time between Jesus’ first and second advents, we trust that the Spirit will continue Jesus Christ’s work of uniting us to himself and to each other. And so, while looking forward to the day when Jesus Christ returns to fulfill God’s promise to make everything new, we commit ourselves to live as those who have already been drawn into the life that is to come.
Therefore, we celebrate on this Christmas Day. For we are being renewed, even as we are sent as participants in God’s ongoing restoration of all things. We engage the life that is to come as if it were already here. We do so in the deep rooted assurance that endures suffering, confident that Jesus Christ will certainly return. And when he does, Jesus will bring an end to all that opposes the flourishing of God’s creation, filling all of creation with the life-giving light of his glory and his abundant grace. We long for and pray for that day even while we embrace the gift of life we’ve been given in this day. See the light of Jesus Christ is coming and is already here!
Come quickly, Lord Jesus, that the light of your life may make all things new here and everywhere, now and forever more! Amen.