This is Pastor Tim’s article which appeared in the Evening Leader on Dec 20, 2021
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
I know there are plenty of Christmas stories in the Bible (obviously) and that this verse, while very popular, is not usually associated with Christmas. But this is the verse I want to write about here on our last article together before Christmas. This verse is what makes the Christmas story as powerful as it is. Babies being born are amazing and incredible. It is a mystery how a man and a woman can create a life. I know, it is biology, but biology only tells us that it works, not why it works. Babies are created out of love.
Yes, those poopy, crying, sleeping when you want them awake and awake when you want them asleep little people exist because of love. The Christ Child is no different. Instead of the love of a man and a woman, this particular Baby was born of the love of God. God loved so much that He gave the most precious of gifts, a Baby. That is what we are celebrating during this sacred time of year. We are so blessed that God saw us as so valuable that He gave us His Son. It is a gift of infinite value.
You are going to be receiving many gifts over the next few days, but all of those gifts are to represent the great gift that God gave. You are going to receive all of these gifts because someone loves you. The Baby in the Manger is a gift also given to you because God loved you. That is what John 3:16 teaches us. If someone else were to write the story of my life, it would be called a biography. If I were to write the story of my own life, it would be called an autobiography. However, when someone writes the story of Jesus’ life, it is called Gospel, literally the Good News. He is the embodiment of what it means to receive Good News.
On the day of this article’s publication, we have about 2 weeks left in 2021. Every single day of this entire year, the story of Jesus’s life has been the Good News. As we finish out these next two weeks and stumble into 2022, His story will remain the Good News. High and low, thick and thin, great and terrible, nothing will change the arrival of the Messiah that we celebrate during the Christmas season.
The only way that the Good News loses its power is if we forget it. Don’t do that under any circumstances. Don’t face a single day without knowing that you are a part of the Good News that Baby Jesus came to live out among us. This world can be a struggle, that is news to no one, but in Jesus, we have the chance to put our hope in the best of all Good News. That is why we light the lights, decorate the tree and wrap the presents. We want to remind the world that we are the people of the Good News.
Because of Jesus, we have words that we would not otherwise have. Eternity, grace, forgiveness, atonement; these are all words that have no real meaning without Jesus. We would live a condemned life that would come to a horrible end if not for the Good News that Jesus came to deliver.
That is what we are celebrating during this sacred and special time of the year. I fear the hectic pace we are all trying to maintain will cause us to lose track of this Good News. Then we go at life with no real source of hope. That is something you do not want to do for many reasons, but mostly because attempting to celebrate Christmas without a firm grasp of the Good News that is yours robs the season of its greatest meaning. They are just lights and presents and pine trees until we recognize the Good News those decorations represent.
Are you struggling with owning the Good News this season? Then I encourage you to find a local church near your home to go experience the Good News. There will be a wide variety of Christmas Eve services this Friday night. I strongly encourage you to attend one and listen to this very Good News I am talking about. Understand that in all of this talk of Babies and managers and shepherds and Wisemen, the story is about Good News that God gave to you.