Rather than living in a world of constant questions, we allow this tiny babe in a manger to give us the answer.
You probably know that this is the second day of Christmas. There are twelve total, not mainly because of the song, but because of the litergical calendar.
Over the Christmas holiday, many of us will likely spend the holiday with friends and family celebrating around gifts, festive trees, and a feast. We’ll be reminded of the joys of being surrounded by loved ones and hopefully we’ll pause to reflect on all the many blessings in our midst—blessings coming not only on material, but also spiritual terms.
Christ-followers know that the toys and trinkets around our Christmas trees, however delightful to unwrap, pale in comparison to the gift offered to us in that tiny manger scene: the gift of God himself.
The Incarnation means so much in terms of our understanding of God’s reckless love and forgiveness. For some of us on a day like today, it’s easy to taste and see that God is good.
For others of us, believing in God’s goodness is a struggle this time of year. Like Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the cry of our hearts echo: “For hate is strong, and mocks the song of peace on earth, good-will to men.”
The question is a fair one.
After all, where is God’s good will to men in a world as terrible as ours can often be? Where is God in times of famine and drought? Where is he in places of extreme need where poverty isn’t the exception, but the socio-economic norm? Where is he in the dark and quiet spaces of our minds when we feel lonely, fearful, and riddled with anxiety?
What Longfellow expressed over a century ago still rings true for many of us as we gather around gifts and stuffed stockings this year. We can’t seem to wrap our heads around a God that made us, loves us, came …