Nathan Carter Solstad was born last Wednesday morning. The parents who adopted him brought him home on Friday. They hid him under the Christmas tree, then told his three sisters they had a gift to share. The girls were overjoyed when they found him. One hopped up and down and said, "I'm going to wet my pants."
Three little girls will never forget the time they were given a child for Christmas. Each year around 172,000 babies are born on Christmas day. Each is a reminder of the central fact of Christmas: "To us a child is born, to us a son is given." But unlike every other child ever born, "the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6).
How desperately do we need his wonderful counsel, omnipotent power, unchanging love, and divine peace today?
This morning's New York Times cites FBI reports that the San Bernardino killers "had long been radicalized." Authorities had no idea they were plotting the massacre, causing Americans to worry that other groups in our midst are planning murder right now.
Meanwhile, CNN is reporting that the U.S. Justice Department will investigate whether the Chicago police habitually violate the law. According to The Los Angeles Times, a Paris-bound flight that departed from San Francisco was forced to land in Canada following an anonymous threat. And residents of Versailles, a small town in Kentucky, are mourning the murder of a six-year-old boy by an intruder who broke into his home.
It's hard to read bad news at Christmas. But here's the good news: the Child who was born at Christmas is more powerful than our most powerful enemy. He loves us despite our worst failures. He will forgive our worst sins and heal our deepest hurts. As the hymn says, Jesus offers us "grace that is greater than all our sin."
Colossians 1:16 teaches that by Jesus "all things were created." Scientists currently measure the diameter of the observable universe at ninety-three billion light-years in length. Our Creator measures all of that with the palm of his hand (Isaiah 40:12). Then Jesus focused all of his divinity and omnipotence into a fetus and was born as a tiny baby on Christmas day.
G. K. Chesterton was right: "The Child that played with moon and sun is playing with a little hay."
If Jesus would be born in a cow stall and laid in a feed trough, he'll go anywhere. If he would touch a leprous body and heal a crazed demoniac, he'll help anyone. So don't let our fallen world discourage you.
Tim Keller reminds us that "Christ literally walked in our shoes." He knows your every fear, pain, and challenge today (Hebrews 4:15). He offers grace for your every need; as Adrian Rogers noted, "God grades on the cross, not on the curve."
Max Lucado was right: "God never said that the journey would be easy, but he did say that the arrival would be worthwhile." When we focus on the arrival and find joy in the journey, our faith is our greatest witness to a despairing, struggling world.
Martin Luther King, Jr.: "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." If you stand with Jesus today, you'll never stand alone.
Publication date: December 8, 2015
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