All is calm, All is bright.
Round yon virgin, mother and child.
Holy Infant so tender and mild.
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.
These are the words to one of the most well-known Christmas carols of all time. And yet, the picture it paints is not exactly a realistic one. The first stanza of “Silent Night, Holy Night” gives us the Thomas Kinkade version of the gospel … almost imagining that everything is right and beautiful in the world.
But everything is not right in the world—that’s why Jesus Christ had to come. Even His birth is embroiled in noise and chaos with a town of unwilling tax payers and the scandal of an unwed mother. Look all around Joseph and Mary and you will see the world was in many ways as it is today—filled with violence, greed and hatred.
There is, however, one difference. Our redeemer has finally arrived and taken sin’s just punishment on Himself. Jesus, in human flesh, became my substitute on the cross. Three days later, He rose from the dead. He now sits at the right hand of the Majesty on high, interceding on my behalf. Not only that, Christ’s kingdom is advancing and cannot be stopped.
This is the message of Christmas that’s got to get out—not so much the story of tranquil nights, but the announcement that a strong Savior has arrived on the scene to rescue men and women from their sin, to empower them to live godly lives, and to ultimately deliver them safely to be with Him—some through the ravages of cancer, some through aborted births, and yes, some through the bullet of a maniac.
Thank God for the end of the story when He makes all things new. This statement is trustworthy and true. The Lord of all creation is not distant or unmoved by the pain of this wrecked world. Christ can sympathize with what we go through because He experienced worse pain to eventually establish justice and righteousness upon the earth. The child of God presses on with this sure hope and confidence and announces to a weary world the timeless good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.