Comfort and Joy

Let’s be honest.  Life is so broken.  As I write, terrorist attacks and ongoing animosity between American political parties are headline news.  People I know personally have lost loved ones in the last week. Others have been hospitalized with difficult diagnoses. Many struggle to salvage fractured relationships or live with someone who seems not to care. Depression and anxiety are  as common as the cold. Life is to going from bad to worse. What will the future hold?

But this is not the end of the story.

Yes, the worst of sin and brokenness is all around us and in us. But if we are in Christ, it will not overcome us. It will not win.

It will not win because of God, who is humble enough to come to us as a helpless infant, to grow up and live among us. It will not win because God willingly tasted grief and betrayal and ultimately suffered and died for us.

Jesus said to us, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

He overcame the worst of the worst—sin and death and hell. He rose from the grave and offers us new life now and eternally. 

Do you hear me?

Evil, terror, shame, pain, and death will not have the last word!

The prophet Isaiah tells us this:

But face the facts, all you oppressors, and then wring your hands.

Listen, all of you, far and near.

Prepare for the worst and wring your hands.

Yes, prepare for the worst and wring your hands!

Plan and plot all you want—nothing will come of it.

All your talk is mere talk, empty words,

Because when all is said and done,

the last word is Immanuel—God-With-Us.” (Isa. 8:9–10 The Message)

This is our comfort and this is our joy.  We can celebrate amidst the broken chaos of this world because Christmas has given us a future and hope. There will come a day when all that is wrong will be made right.

Oh how we long for that day.

Thank you, Jesus, for being that very last word - Immanuel -God-With-Us!

Merry Christmas!