As we celebrate Christmas this year, I’m reminded how amazing the birth of Jesus is, and how it is the answer to all the problems in the world. I often hear people share objections and concerns to faith by saying things like, “With all the problems in the world like lying, cheating, stealing, bigotry, hatred, selfishness, racism, and more, how can someone believe in God?” You may feel this way at times, and perhaps feel it more as it seems there are more and more problems each year, but all these actually point me to what Christmas is all about– we need a Savior to deliver us from all of the problems in the world.
Christmas reminds us we live in a broken world. We see the brokenness all through the Bible, including the birth of Christ. God brings his Son into the world through a poor virgin engaged to be married. She is not a person of means or stature. She is compelled in the ninth month of pregnancy to make a four-day journey to her hometown to register for a foreign emperor’s census (tax). No exemptions for being with child! The couple is young, unmarried, and pregnant and can’t find a hotel or even a friend to stay with in their hometown. The King of Kings is birthed in a stable and placed into a feeding trough. They will also be chased into exile by a jealous and deranged king who wants the child dead. The story is full of hardship due to pride and injustice. It’s been 2,000 years since Christ’s birth, but brokenness and sin still plague the world just as sure as cockroaches still get into houses.
Christmas reminds us God is fixing the problem. If you ever sit in your room and wonder if God sees you, if he cares, if he knows your pain, the incarnation tells us that he does. He didn’t just see it either. He came to do something about it. The world needed rescuing, and he sent his Son. People reject God, and when you reject the light of the world you plunge into darkness. Pain, misery, and death became the norm of life. And so God sends his Son into the world to rescue people. He will enter into the mess to pull them out of it.
When my kids were little they would often break a toy and need help fixing it. They knew if they could get mom or dad to come over then the problem would be fixed. When they saw us come near their eyes brightened. So now the birth of Jesus tells us God has seen our misery and come to do something about it. He is fixing everything through Jesus Christ– the Savior of the world.
Christmas reminds us we can have peace. In a broken world people talk about peace, but attaining it is like grasping after the wind, seemingly always within reach, but never in our hands. We need a deep and abiding peace, a peace that will not end, and a peace that is both outside in the world and inside of us, deep within the recesses of our hearts. Nothing in the world can bring these or promise them. Only the eternal creator can. We need peace with God, to know that he loves and accepts and has a purpose for us, and Christmas reminds us these are found in his Son.
I hope this Christmas, when you look at the hardships and challenges of life, that you will see these are the very reasons God sent his Son. We should not push him away because of these, but instead draw near to what he has done. Only through him do we find peace in a broken and frightening world. It’s worth stopping everything you have to pay attention, to contemplate, to adore, and to put your faith in.