“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” Luke 2:14 (NIV)
One of the most glorious services of our church year is the celebration of Christ’s birth on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. For many of us the concentration of family traditions around this great day permeates the service itself with great nostalgia and meaning. It is a comforting reminder of God’s faithfulness; that is, despite the year we have had, we still find the fulfilled promise of God come among us in the little baby, Jesus. The events of our lives may rock and shake us, but God is not shaken by them; He remains the same. The birth of Jesus is the beginning of God’s fulfilling of all of His promises to renew this creation and bring us to that place where there will be no more death, no more tears, and no more sin.
But this comfort is not to be confused with empty repetition, for the event does not stay the same for us. Rather, each year’s celebration of Jesus’ birth can enrich our understanding of the cost to God, our need for Him, and the tremendous grace made manifest in the birth of Jesus. For each year we come to that great day as different people, having had another year of joys and sorrows. And thus each year is another chance to uncover yet another layer of the majesty and mystery of God.
Our Christmas season begins this year a service on Christmas Eve at 5:30pm, and then another service on Christmas Day at 9:30am. Come, let us sing to the Lord, let us shout for joy to the God of our salvation. Come, let us adore Him who has revealed His steadfast glory and goodness to us as He has in years past.