Hope of a better tomorrow;
a brand new beginning in life today;
and a clean break from the failures of the past
is what Christmas is all about.
Its message is life-changing.
This message came to us not as a printed text or spoken word which is difficult to understand; instead this message came to us as a child born in a manger in Bethlehem! Yes, a child, a Saviour, was born to tell us that God cared enough to dirty his feet in earthly soil.
He came to seek and to save all who feel lost in this big world.
He came to rescue people from the evil of all filthy gutters they had fallen into.
His name is Jesus.
He came as someone who could be seen and touched
and with whom people could enjoy intimate friendship.
He ate with people; talked with them and cried with them in their sorrows.
In him, people experienced God near.
In him, the great distance between sinful man and a holy God was bridged.
In him, sinners found a friend!
But then there was the shadow of death in his birth. The truth was that he came to die for all—to shed his precious blood on the cross for the forgiveness of sins. He came to die to break the power of death over mankind by his resurrection from the dead.
This is the great hope Jesus gifted this world with; that all those who believe in him might live for ever!
Yes friends, it is the faint glimpse of this hope that is reflected in the tradition of unwrapping of gifts at Christmas: A sense of wonder at what the future holds; expecting something as nice as the gift one would get. But often expectations are not met. Many are disappointed.
In a sense this is good. For nothing can match the indescribable gift of God’s Son Jesus and the hope he brought to this world!