As we approach another Christmas, it does not seem that all is calm or bright. A terrorist shooting in Paris has left a hundred plus dead, and even closer to home, a married terrorist couple dropped their baby off with grandma and then killed 14 people in San Bernardino. For the hundreds, or maybe thousands of those who mourn the loss of their friends and families in these tragedies, Merry Christmas sounds like a meaningless platitude. We ask ourselves, “If there is a God, where is He? Is He asleep?”
King David had the same thought when things were not going well for his kingdom. In Psalm 44, David prays “Why are you sleeping, O Lord? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever! Why do you hide your face? Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?” Many of us feel like this today. Even if our loved ones were not killed by terrorists, we still face the stress of this life each and every day. We mourn for loved ones who have died; we care for family members who are in the hospital. Some of us are walking alongside friends struggling by financial problems, addictions and loss of jobs. We live in a dark broken world, and sometimes we feel alone.
But the good news is that God is not asleep. His armies of angels are at war with evil, and He has sent His great Commander, the Lord of Hosts to lead in this battle against the dark forces that seek to destroy us. This is the season that we celebrate the birth of this Mighty Warrior who first came to us as an illegitimate baby, born of a scared teenage single-mother in a dirty manger. This unlikely babe however was not just any child. He was the Son of God – He was God Himself – Immanuel, God with Us.
The Star Wars films use the story of Christ as a central theme. Luke Skywalker was the unlikely hero, born of a widow, on the remote desert planet of Tatooine. But he was not any child, but the chosen warrior-knight who would save the Universe in the final battle between good and evil.
The Christmas story however is the true story of the God of the Universe who came to Earth to give himself up as a sacrificial lamb without blemish, and die on a cross to pay the price for our sins in order that we could be spared the wrath of a Just God. Let us remain steadfast in the promise that God is not asleep, but that He is actively involved in the Universe. Let us celebrate Christmas in this Light – The Light of the World.