“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6, NIV)
In my family, every single year on Christmas morning, before we dig into our stockings and unwrap our presents, we pause for a moment to read the Christmas story from Luke 2. You know the story, it’s a familiar one about a census and an engaged couple on a journey, a manger and no room in the inn. There is an angel choir and a bunch of terrified shepherds. There is Mary, Joseph, and a child who is a Savior, the Messiah, Lord.
Every single year we read the same story. It never changes. I vaguely remember one year on Christmas morning (long before I became a pastor, I’m sure) asking my mom why we had to read the same story yet again. “I know the story!” I reasoned somewhat irrationally, really just wanting to get to the good stuff waiting under the tree. I don’t remember what she said to my protest, all I know is we still read the story and I survived.
Every single year we read the same story. It never changes.
But we do.
And that’s why we read it over and over and over again, year in and year out.
Our story is always changing. One year there is laughter and celebration; the next year there is failure and despair. One year there is a graduation, or a marriage, or a newborn child; the next year there is a diagnosis, or a fractured relationship, or the death of a loved one. One year there is love and joy; the next year there is desperation and sorrow.
There are some stories worth repeating, and then there are other stories that need repeating. This is one of the latter. We need to hear this story again and again and again. We need to hear again and again and again “do not be afraid.” We need to hear again and again and again this “good news of great joy for all people.” We need to hear again and again and again that the glory of the Lord shone around them, that a Savior has come, that God is with us.
Regardless of who you are, or where you are, or what’s going on in your life, this is the story you need to hear: “To you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.”
Merry Christmas! We look forward to seeing you at one of our 9 Christmas Eve services in Naperville, Oswego, or at the Barn, as well as on Christmas morning at 10:00 a.m. in Naperville and 10:30 a.m. in Oswego.
“All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.” (Luke 2:18-20, NIV)