Christmas Isn’t All Good News

Each year our church has a special Greening Service where together we decorate the sanctuary, sing Christmas carols and read from Scripture of the birth of Jesus. It’s celebrative, somewhat loud and always memorable.
With kids encircled about her on the floor, a woman began reading the events surrounding Jesus’ birth – all of them. She read about Elizabeth and Zechariah, Mary and Joseph, and the birth in a stable. She read about the shepherds and even the Wise Men with their beautiful gifts for the King.

All the kids were smiling, listening to the familiar story of Jesus. But she didn’t stop there. And I knew what was coming.
She read about Herod’s anger as the Magi outwitted him, returning to their country by another route. And how in anger, he ordered all boys two years of age and younger to be killed. From the front row, I saw firsthand the expression on children’s faces, some who looked sad and surprised by this ugly, prophetic event.

Had they not heard that part of the story before? Had we been avoiding the harsh reality in favor of the silent night so not to ruin our Christmas celebration? I personally don’t recall ever reading that portion of Scripture at Christmas.
Truth is, the Christmas story isn’t all good news. And I’m quite certain we cannot fully grasp the good news of Christmas without a complete acceptance of the bad.

As the angel told Joseph, “You are to give him the name Jesus, because he will rescue his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).”  The good news we have our Rescuer. The bad news is that we all need rescuing, a fact you must come to believe. It’s impossible to receive Jesus as Rescuer without admitting your need to be rescued.
Oswald Chambers: “The greatest blessing spiritually is the knowledge that we are destitute; until we get there Our Lord is powerless…We have to enter into His Kingdom through the door of destitution.”

So come all you faithful, joyful and triumphant. Confess your sin and welcome the Savior. Surrender your all to the Rescuer, the Lord Jesus Christ, for He will save His people from their sins.

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