They will call him Immanuel, which means “God is with us.”
Matthew 1:23 NLT
I was listening to a few refrains from “O Holy Night”: “A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices” and something deep in my spirit said, O yes, dear Jesus, we need hope. Come for this weary world. Actually, this world is more than weary, it’s coming apart at the seams. Something deep is unraveling. I wonder if you’ve felt it too. The barrenness of spirit, a desolation creeping across the earth.
You can see this through the great ache of social concern—the rallying to offer a helping hand, which is easier than offering Jesus. Now, we are to care for the poor and the oppressed. Yes. But let me ask: What is the unique contribution of Christianity to this weary world? It’s not social concern. It is Jesus and his kingdom. God didn’t offer the shepherds a grant for their micro economics, or the little outcast family an apartment. He offered them a Savior. He offered them himself. There’s simply no other way to save this weary, unraveling world.
Think again about the gift in the manger. God saw what the world most desperately needed, and what he chose to give us was … himself. To care for the world is to offer Jesus Christ. This is the message of Christmas. “Let every heart prepare him room.” Then heaven and nature will sing. Then will break the new and glorious morn. Jesus, may your hope and glory come.
Father—I receive the gift of Christmas. I receive the gift of Jesus Christ and all it means for my life. Thank you, with all my heart.
From John’s 365 Day Devotional book, Restoration Year, December 25.