Good Tidings of Great Joy

Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11

These words of the Gospel of Luke express the two sacred, eternal, glorious central truths of the Christmas tidings. Deny one, and you have removed the granite blocks upon which the temple of our faith rests. Deny the other, and you have destroyed the girders that strengthen its towering structure. A Saviour has been born for you, and He is Christ the Lord.

If you are the man or woman who has never done anything, said anything, or thought anything that dishonours or distresses your God, injures your fellow men or yourself; if you are a paragon of perfection whose hands have always been active in behalf of truth and justice and faith, whose heart has always beat in measured sympathy with your unfortunate brothers; if your mind has always dwelt on the pure, the clean, the noble, then turn off your radio! You do not need my message! You do not need Christmas!

I am not arguing that you need a Saviour. You know your own life better than I do. The voice of Scripture, with its multiplied pronouncements on the depravity of the human race, has placed this tragic truth above the possibility of debate: we are all sinners! I am simply bringing you the plain truth that Christmas, with its heart-warming appeal and its soul-lifting promise, asks us not to surrender to the folly and blindness of striving for our own peace and pardon, but to believe, with all the radiance and rejoicing of this blessed day, that “in the city of David, a Saviour” was born.

Prayer: O Christ of Bethlehem, we come to You in faith, with all the transgression and selfishness in our lives, and under the radiance of the Christmas faith find pardon, peace, and rest in Your heavenly grace. Amen.