The angels proclaimed to the shepherds in Bethlehem, ‘Be not afraid; for behold I bring you good news of great joy which will come to all people.’ (Luke 2:10)
Those angels were not just proclaiming to the shepherds in Bethlehem. Today, on Christmas, they proclaim to us as well. They proclaim that God’s love is not a vague, abstract idea, but a real, tangible love. A love you were created to live in and are invited to receive.
This is the heart of the proclamation of the angels…
no matter how lonely or isolated you feel,
no matter how far you’ve fallen,
no matter how severe your suffering,
no matter what you’ve done or what you’ve failed to do,
…God sent his Son Jesus to bring you hope and joy.
God sending His Son Jesus into the world brings hope to each of our stories. We believe that Jesus is God – who truly lived, truly died on the cross, truly rose from the dead, and truly sent the Holy Spirit to help us turn away from brokenness and sin and turn toward him. Today, Jesus invites us to accept this gift of hope and to make him the center of our lives – to allow him to bring hope to our suffering and joy to our brokenness.
Have you responded to Jesus’ invitation to be the center of your life? Would you like to? If so, step out in faith and pray to him right now.
Read the Christmas Story
One of the simplest things we can do to put the true meaning of Christmas at the center of all our activities is to read and reflect upon the original Christmas Story in the Gospels. Set aside ample time in your Christmas gatherings to go over the Biblical story of Jesus’ birth (found here). Ask family members to share the word or phrase that stands out them as you read the story.
Christmas Movie Chats
Many families gather together on Christmas day to celebrate and spend time with one another. This year, many of us have had plans change and traditions put on hold.
Below are some ideas for a few new traditions that can help you find joy and hope in the true meaning of Christmas this year – even if you’re staying close to home or not able to celebrate with the loves ones you usually do.
Make and light a Christ candle
If your family has enjoyed lighting the Advent wreath, extend the practice by making a Christ candle. Purchase a large white candle and decorate it with the chi rho (the first two letters in the Greek word for Christ) along with the year. Place it in the center of your Advent wreath and light it throughout the Christmas season as a reminder that Christ is the light of the world (John 1).