Last night, we finally decorated our tree. As I’ve come to do every year, I looked at each ornament and reminisced over the memories...the sentiments. Our life displayed on a lit-up Christmas tree. As Christmas music softly played in the background, the kiddos were giggling and, I’ll admit, fighting over their favorite ornaments and where each one would be placed.
Then I heard it…
Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled…
God and sinners reconciled. Reconciled from what? From our sin. A people lost in the depths of human depravity reconciled to all the fullness of the Godhead? A creation void of peace and joy, deserving of no mercy, reconciled to the Creator who became God With Us.... Emmanuel? A world consumed with the blackness of willful and indulgent wickedness reconciled to the God and Father of Light? That is cause for rejoicing!
That night in Bethlehem must have been incredible when the heavens broke open and its angels sang Glory to God in the Highest! And on earth peace, good will toward men! I can’t help to think that if we were to have half the exuberant joy the angels had on that night, we would be a different people altogether. Heaven’s angels were not in need of a Savior. They did not need to be reconciled. They had beheld the glory of God and had worshipped Him for centuries….millennia… but they were not the ones who needed redemption. We were. We are.
A silent night? I beg to differ. That holy night in the little town of Bethlehem was full of singing (Luke 2:13-14) and shouting (Luke 2:15-17) and heavenly excitement that should captivate and inspire our spirit to sing along with heaven's angelic choir.
Joyful, all ye nations rise, Join the triumph of the skies: With angelic host proclaim Christ….
Proclaim Christ! Isn't that the job description of a Christian? Is that not our Advent theme? The heaven's proclaimed His birth. As the redeemed, we now proclaim that He is risen! We now can sing that His light and His life are extended to all.
Mild He lays His glory by, Born that man no more may die, Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth…
Munching on Christmas cookies, wrestling with the string of Christmas lights, trying to place the tree topper on top of the tree, correlating Christmas outfits, matching the wrapping paper with the ribbons, singing mindlessly along to the Carpenter's "Home for the Holidays"....it's all sweet and happy fun. It's things memories are made of. But the profound awareness that God came here to open the way so that I can be reconciled to Him, and have fellowship with Him, and live in His presence for all eternity....that is where the joy of Christmas is.