For God so Loved the World

December 26, 2020-Liberty Township, Mo.

Christmastime, which by rights should be a time of great hope and joy, is often a difficult time for many. For some, it brings family problems to the fore, and for others, it serves as a painful reminder of needs not met, highlighting the grave injustice and cruelty of both the world and our society in particular as experienced on the individual level. Rather than remembering the light and life that entered into the world through the birth of the Savior, they feel the darkness, the corruption of the world, all the more keenly.

Even so, that same darkness is not the reality of the world we live in. Those most likely simply to know that this is so are children. They tend to live in what I might be tempted to call an ‘enchanted cosmos,’ a place in which nothing is too insignificant to be noticed. A smooth stone from a riverbed, exactly like millions of other stones, might become a most precious treasure, and the look of sadness on a homeless veteran’s face is cause for thought, likely even some amount of sympathy.

This is to say that children love. They see things, they see people, and they know that what they are seeing is wonderful and beautiful. In their innocence, children do not judge people or motives, just as they are not constantly distracted by the disparate desires and needs that accompany adulthood, existence in ‘the real world.’

Perhaps this should serve as a call to each one of us to take a moment to slow down and have a look around us. While our situations are indeed real… The bills that will not pay themselves, the recent loss of a loved one, the rocky relationship, the government edicts that threaten our way of life… they are not central to ends of human existence itself. They may be truths that pertain to the fallen state of man, but they should not overshadow the glory of Creation itself.

In this Christmas season, I ask only that each one might take a fresh look at things that are good, true, and beautiful, realizing that whatever might be wrong in the world, the good is ultimately greater. The going may not always be easy, but there is no less good along the way for that difficulty. Indeed, that there is yet good in the face of all evil is a testament to the pervasive nature of the good in nature and especially in our fellow man.

The birth of the Savior is, in addition to being a call to arms for all people of goodwill, that we might look upon our brothers and sisters in a renewed spirit of generosity and love, the surest sign of hope for all people, taking to heart the words of John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” ‘God so loved the world…’ That is, the One who embodies all perfection saw that it was good. So good was the world and even humanity that He chose to redeem it through the mystery of the Incarnation, Passion, Death, and Resurrection of His only begotten Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, born in a lowly stable in Bethlehem nearly 2020 years ago. Whatever trials we may have faced and may yet face, it may yet be that we live… In an enchanted cosmos!

May the grace and peace of the Savior be with each of you in the new year.