God didn’t think the world needed Christmas because it needed another festive holiday. He knew it needed rescue…it needed a Savior. He didn’t see peace on earth and goodwill towards men. He saw bloody Crusades, Salem Witch Trials, Wounded Knee, the Nazis, the Khmer Rouge and the tragic slaying of school children in Newtown yesterday that bore the marks of the resident evil that often dwells center stage within the soul of mankind. We like to think adding more laws and codes to the “rule book” will make it all go away and sequester us in peace.
But the enemy is not outside the walls–it is within. Christmas is about remembering the day the eternal Son of God made the choice to put on human skin, enter into our suffering and subject himself to the full extent of evil our world is capable of twisting out of a misuse of human freedom. The empty tomb reminds us that hatred and death do not have the final word. Evil is a parasitical leech on this world that will one day be shed like dead snake skin.
Until then we are called to be torch bearers and ambassadors pointing the way forward because “light has shone out of darkness…to give us the light of the knowledge of God in the face of Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). Christ came to give us a new direction and a transformed nature where righteousness peace and joy can become the genuine hallmarks of the human heart lived out. Until we embrace His life laid down and then raised up again we will have to settle for Hallmark printing for us what we fail so often to live out.