Good Shepherd Lutheran

At New Year’s, people look back to the great events of the previous 12 months. You see it on almost every TV program, from the news to variety shows, and even TV comedians. 2023 has been a tough journey, but Americans are not unfamiliar with tough journeys. Look at George Washington who made the journey to Valley Forge with troops whose feet were clad only in rags. And what about Louis and Clark who traveled the Western United States; Lindbergh who made the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean; the first manned voyage to the moon; or even SpaceX and Elon Musk who plans a manned journey to Mars.
But the greatest journey of all history would have to be the Christmas journey. Now I’m not talking about the travels of the Magi, or even the flight to Egypt of the Holy Family. I’m talking about the journey from heaven to the tiny town of Bethlehem here on earth so that Jesus could be born in a manger on Christmas Eve. That’s the human view of the miracle of Christmas. But there’s more to it.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made. Without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” [And in verse 14:] “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son who came from the Father full of grace and truth.”
That’s God’s view of Christmas. It was a journey so unbelievable that there have been, unfortunately, millions of people over the last two thousand years who have simply said they can’t believe it. They think it’s too good to be true.
But the Son of God made that journey, and he knew what he was getting into. He knew what the sacrifice would be. And because he made that journey, one day we’ll inherit a heavenly home.
In the meantime, of course, we should enjoy the human side of Christmas. Enjoy it and love the decorations and celebrations and the season’s music and festivities; the enjoyment of family gatherings and the giving and receiving of gifts.
But let’s not forget God’s side of the Christmas story. “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” He came to us to save us from our sins and to be our light in the darkness to lead us back home to God.
And because of that promise, we can sit back and enjoy the journey.