Every Christmas story I know of has the same plot line — so much so that it can get very old — Is Christmas going to come? It can take many forms, but Christmas hanging in the balance is always the theme. Will Santa make it? Will the Polar Express get back in time? Will Kevin’s family find him by Christmas morning? Is Santa going to quit this year? Will reindeer fly? Will the presents get out in time? Will the elves get their labor dispute resolved in time to get all the toys made? Did Ebenezer Scrooge miss it? Have the spirits done it all in one night? Come up with as many ways as you can think of to stop Christmas, and there is probably a story about that. Come up with a new one and maybe you can get a contract.
It’s all about anticipation. Anticipation is the fuel of Christmas. Even in church, we light the Advent candles. We anticipate Christ’s coming. But here’s the point. In all this anticipation, expectation, and even anxiety — much of it artificial — this is the good news — the truly good news of the Gospel of Welcome: Jesus came!
That’s right: Jesus came. Nothing, and no one, stopped Him. Satan would like to have stopped Him but he couldn’t. Jesus came, and thank God He did.
Jesus came, and our humanity took on significance.
Jesus came, and showed us we were made in God’s image.
Jesus came, and showed us how to live.
Jesus came, and we are now forgiven.
Jesus came, and relationships can be healed.
Jesus came, and the barrier between God and us has been broken down.
Jesus came, and hope is real.
Jesus came, and light dispelled the darkness.
Jesus came, and lives can start over.
Jesus came, and new beginnings can begin.
Jesus came, and the outcome is assured.
Jesus came, and we can know God’s love.
Jesus came, and death is swallowed up in victory.
Jesus came, and Satan is powerless to stop Him.
Jesus came, and justice has been established.
Jesus came, and the world, though appearing to teeter, is going along as planned.
Jesus came, and evil has been put on notice.
Jesus came, and we’ve been pardoned.
Jesus came, and heaven is secured.
Jesus came, and the Holy Spirit can dwell.
Jesus came, and power is made available.
Jesus came, and He can now make intercession for us.
Jesus came, and we have an advocate.
Jesus came, and our sentence has been lifted.
Jesus came, and we can sit in the lap of God.
Don’t even try and imagine what would have happened if He hadn’t come, because Jesus came. We don’t have to wonder about whether he’ll come next year, because He already came. He’s here in His Spirit; and in His resurrected body, He is sitting right next to God, talking to Him about you, right now.
We’re not too sure about Santa this year. He may be getting too old, or maybe he’s just tired, or maybe the reindeer will go on strike, or Rudolf’s nose will go out; but regardless of what happens with Santa, rest assured that Jesus came — no one can ever take that away — and nothing has been quite the same ever since.