Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 24, 2020
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. Isaiah 61:1 (NIV)
After weeks of longing and patient preparation, today we finally arrive at the eve of our great celebration. We gather with the faithful around the world to greet our Lord at his birth. In many ways, we step out of the darkness and despair of the world around us and enter into the glorious light of Christ that shines and illumines the whole world. As our Christmas hymns remind us, born this day is a king, the king of Israel and deliverer of the world.
Perhaps unlike any Christmas you and I have experienced before, we know in 2020 what it feels like to long for deliverance, to be set free from oppression and fear. And while the birth of Christ declares to the world that freedom, peace, hope, and victory is born, it does not mean we have reached the end of our struggles. Though a vaccine may end this global pandemic, once we are on the other side of it, our struggles will persist and our fears will re-emerge. With or without a pandemic, anger will still rear its ugly head, lust will continue to distort your experience of love and desire, and we will continue to struggle to trust that God is good and will provide.
Christmas is not the end of struggle but is the glorious revelation that, in Christ, we can be victorious.
Though many of us encounter the birth of Christ each year through the glow of candlelight and choirs singing Silent Night, we must never forget that the babe in the manger is also the risen Son of God who defeated death by his own death, declaring life will always have the final word. Our struggle against sin and death is real, yet we do not struggle without hope of victory. Because of the victory of God in Christ, we are able to face even our darkest fears, for in Christ we encounter the everlasting light of God. This, as Isaiah reminds us, is truly good news.
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6-7).
Father, thank you that through Christ we have the hope of victory over sin and death. Give us the strength to journey with Christ from the manger to the cross and empty tomb, trusting in him every step of the way. Amen.
Read the story of Christ’s birth this evening with friends or family as you are able, giving thanks to God for the gift of Jesus.
Psalm 89:4; Luke 1:32-33; 1 John 5:20
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Christmas is not the end of struggle but is the glorious revelation that, in Christ, we can be victorious. #victory #wisdomhunters #truth #Jesus
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