Christmas can be a dark time. We need to share the light of Jesus so all can see what their Savior has done for them.
Nathan W. Strutz
Christmas. The day is supposed to be filled with such happiness. Who doesn’t love gathering with family? Who doesn’t love seeing a tree with presents that fill the living room?
A time of darkness
Maybe you don’t. Maybe your family is not a happy gathering. Grandma’s place at the table is dark because Grandma isn’t there anymore. Your nephew Jimmy will be there, but not with the wife and kids after their recent divorce. Uncle Joe hasn’t come in years, because he’s been estranged so long. Maybe there isn’t a room full of presents.
Instead there’s a heart full of fear, a darkness that there won’t be enough money to pay the bills. Maybe the lights don’t brighten your heart because all you can see is darkness.
Sadness spikes in the winter time. Suicide rates go up around the holidays.
Too many think, I’m supposed to be so happy, but I’m not. I’ve done my share to make the family gatherings awkward or haven’t done anything to reach out to Uncle Joe. Maybe it’s my fault. I could have worked harder and been nicer to the boss. Then money wouldn’t be so tight. If I had just made better choices, just worked a little harder at being happy, I could really enjoy Christmas.
Jesus is the light
There is hope. Jesus is the light for that darkness, especially at Christmas. He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
Jesus brings light to lighten your eyes beyond your earthly troubles. Jesus loved you so much he made you part of his perfect family. The holy God is your Father, loving you so much he sent his Son into a manger, to a cross, to rise from the dead to give you the light of life. Jesus is your perfect brother, the brother who took all the blame for all your sins. What other brother would do that? Jesus did! Jesus, our perfect brother, piled all the darkness for all the guilt of everyone on himself. That means your guilt is gone. Your darkness has become light.
Jesus provided your greatest need: forgiveness. Jesus will take care of all your other needs as well.
Jesus has given you a heavenly mansion, monogrammed with your initials, already waiting for you. He signed it with his blood, sealed it with his empty tomb, and delivers it to you in water and his Word, “You are baptized! You are my child!”
We must share the light
This light needs to be shared. Just as the shepherds shared it on the first Christmas, just as a parent or friend shared the light with you, so you get to share this light with others. Who wouldn’t like to hear, “Your guilt is gone!”? Who wouldn’t love to hear, “Your sins are forgiven!”?
We’ve set a goal as a church body to reach one million people this Christmas with the good news of great joy that is for all the people: A Savior has been born to you; he is Christ, the Lord. One million sounds like a lot of people. But 35,000 people get this magazine. They—you—are today’s shepherds. I encourage all of you to do what the shepherds at Bethlehem did: “Spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child” (Luke 2:17). If each one of you would share the light of Jesus with 10 neighbors, friends, or relatives, we would be on our way to reaching one million.
What a merry Christmas that would be!
Nathan Strutz is pastor at Resurrection, Verona, Wisconsin.
Learn more about the goal to reach one million people with the gospel message this Christmas at wels.net/c18.
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Author: Nathan Strutz
Volume 105, Number 12
Issue: December 2018
Copyrighted by WELS Forward in Christ © 2018
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