Throughout the Old Testament, God’s kindness and mercy flows through the text, like this verse in the Psalms: “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.”1
But what happened 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem took God’s love and mercy for humankind to an entirely new level! God offered His only Son to the world, who showed Himself to us as a weak and helpless child and chose to take on human form in order to save humanity.
Ever since then, countless men and women of faith have drawn on the events of Christmas to share Christ’s message and love with others, as well as to improve the world around them. People like Dickens’ character Fred: “I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.”
For most of the world, this year has been unlike any other, and for many of us, this holiday season is shaping up to be unlike any we have known in our lifetimes. But some things never change, and the joy and hope contained within the Christmas story are timeless.
So whatever your circumstances, why not take some time to meditate on God’s wonderful gift to all of us—His Son, Jesus? And then even if we can’t celebrate Christmas in exactly the ways we are used to, let’s try to celebrate His birthday in ways that He would like. Let’s pray for our ailing world, let’s try to do more this year than think about those less fortunate than ourselves, and let’s spend time sharing His love and truth with others. By doing so we will be spending time with Jesus Himself, for He said: “Whenever two or three of you come together in my name, I am there with you.”2
May you enjoy His presence with you and yours this Christmas!
1. Psalm 103:8 NIV
2. Matthew 18:20 CEV