By Tyler Warner, Calvary Chapel Trussville
You would think that with all the advancements we enjoy – technology, medicine, finances – that we would be the most satisfied, content people in human history. Have we not been promised by hopeful atheists for years that once we got rid of the Church, the Bible, and of course God, that our happiness would simply explode?
I hardly need explain to you that this is not the case. You know the stats, so I won’t quote them here: we are the most depressed, lonely, anxious, fearful and neurotic generations the world has ever known. Suicide, substance abuse, self-harm, all manner of destructive behaviors plague our nation today. This doesn’t seem to make any sense. We have every need met; maybe not to the level we’d like, but the number of things we don’t have to worry about anymore gets longer every day. Yet still we worry. We despair.
But there is something special about Christmastime, isn’t there? Even those who attach no religious significance to the season look forward to it. The lights, the songs, the movies and the foods all combine for a happy holiday. You might ask yourself, “What is it about Christmas that makes people so merry and bright?” It’s not the gifts, or the days off, or even the family we see – those are the things we gripe about!
I suggest to you that we love Christmas because this is the time of year set aside to remember that God cares about us. All of us, the tall and the small, the Christian and the agnostic, sing songs like, “Let nothing you dismay, remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas day!” or “Joy to the world, the Lord is come!” We see scenes of a baby born of a virgin, God made flesh, come to save us all.
Every other day, we hear how we are insignificant and unimportant. We look out at the bleak, cold darkness of space and feel so small. And if we acknowledge God at all we wonder why He would care about us. But Christmas tells the story of a God who not only cares, but loves us enough to step down and become one of us, to share our pain and bring us, as the angel said, “Good tidings of great joy”.
If even our secularized, merely traditional remembrances of that fact can manage to lift our spirits and put a smile on our face in the coldest nights of the year – then maybe there is something more to Christmas than just a tradition. I certainly believe there is. And I believe that the answer to our despair is to embrace not just one day of joy, but the Joy-bringer Himself: Jesus Christ.
Tyler Warner is the senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Trussville. CCT meets on Sunday mornings at 9:3 a.m., at 5239 Old Springville Rd. Listen to Tyler’s verse-by-verse Bible teaching at CalvaryChapelTrussville.com or Sundays at 8:30 a.m. on 101.1 FM.