If Christmas does not hold any hope for the broken-hearted; then its celebration becomes meaningless.
If Christmas is just exchange of gifts, lighting of candles, hanging Christmas stars and decorating Christmas trees; then it is all hollow.
If Christmas does not meet real human needs such as freedom from guilt and fear, forgiveness of sins, companionship in loneliness, strength to bear suffering, comfort in times of sorrow, and certainly hope for the future; then Christmas is no good news at all.
Yes, if the coming of Jesus Christ into human lives does not meet such pressing needs; Christmas is no good news at all!
But then one thought is oft repeated in the narratives of Jesus’ life is that he was filled with compassion and that his heart went out to people while he met all sorts of human needs. It is on record that all the miracles he performed were to meet genuine and pressing human needs; not one was for showmanship. The shortest record of his empathy with people states, “Jesus wept.”Can such a Man fail not to be distressed by the misery of sorrowing hearts? Certainly not.
He offers no easy solutions; for he looked straight at life for real. And this is what he said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” His presence with us and his promise to take heart can be understood as God’s grace.
It is this grace of God like his everlasting arms that support us in times of trouble.
It is this grace that is most active in our helplessness and weakness.
It is this grace that prevents us from cracking like an earthen pot when we are under extreme pressure and beyond ability to endure.
Often it is when we give up all hope in our darkest valleys of life, that God’s grace is experienced the most.
Yet the question is how can we experience his grace when Jesus is not with us in this world? The answer to this question brings us to the Comforter. Though Jesus is not present with us physically today; his living presence is made real to us especially in times of sorrow by the Spirit of God. This Jesus made clear in his farewell speech, when he said, “I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.” This he does by the Spirit of God who is our Comforter, our Helper, our Counsellor and a trusted Guide in our lives.
Yes, the Spirit of God is now present with us and shall bring light out of our darkness.
He shall keep our lamps burning and turn our darkness into light.
He shall turn our wailing into dancing and remove our dress of sorrow and clothe us with joy once again.
He shall anoint us with the oil of joy so that when it is poured out our heads it drenches our whole bodies and animates the entire being of a person.
This is the true of experience of Christmas when the Holy Spirit makes God’s joy and comfort real to us. It is truly the touchdown of heaven’s joy on earth!
Lesson 20: I Will Not Leave You as Orphans in John’s Gospel Easy Notes Series