At the end of 2020, with so much fear, conflict, and strife, we might well ask, “Are hope and peace even plausible?” As stress levels reach record highs, and mental health reaches new lows, we need peace around us and within us like never before. But is peace possible?
The complexity of the answer is, as I tell my students, found in the simplicity of one name and the wonder of one person. Jesus. Yes, the answer to 2020 is the same answer given to 2019, 2008, 1963, 1944, 1908, and 33. Jesus is our answer.
The answer to today’s unrest and anxiety is found in an obscure birth and, three decades later, a violently public death that took place some 2000 years ago. In that birth and subsequent death, humanity is clothed in hope and in peace. One birth. One death. One tree. Three nails. Divine love. Everlasting peace. Eternal hope.
The hope and peace of heaven are wrapped in the truth of Emmanuel—God with us. Christ came so that in Him and through the Holy Spirit we might have hope, so we might be consumed in peace. For in His coming, He gave us the way to respond to the darkness that suffocates life. In His coming, we find that peace is possible in the storm.
Christmas celebrates God’s glorious revelation of hope, love, joy, and peace. As the heavenly hosts proclaimed, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among all people.” (Luke 2:14). At Christmas, we invite the world into the birth of salvation—into the birth of Christ—for all people, not just a few. We invite the world into the greatest mind-bending, earth-shattering, performance of love since the creation of the world itself.
What do you want for Christmas? This Christmas I want Jesus. I want the God of Christmas and the God of Easter. The One who was born for me. The One who gave everything for me. The One who is infinitely compassionate. The One who enters into my brokenness, into my suffering, and overwhelms it with a peace that surpasses all understanding.
This Christmas, I need the one true God who is intimately knowable and who knows me intimately. This Christmas, I need hope. I need peace. This Christmas, I need Jesus.
What do you want for Christmas?