As we move into the thick of the Christmas season, marketed to us as a festive happy time with family and friends, we are all aware that stuff is messed up. Some have lost loved ones and are in deep grief. We watch leaders using power for their own benefit. Churches and organizations are being rocked by scandal. We see the weak and innocent being ruined by the enemy through abuse messes. People are using other people. This is not how things are supposed to be. The painful reality with which we are dealing is that no circle or culture is exempt from the pain of the brokenness of our world.
The buoyed Christmas spirits sometimes feel very shallow. For many, it’s a setup for the post-Christmas plunge into depression. Life Scuffy the toy tug boat in the little Golden Book story, we all are more or less aware that we “were made for [better] things.” Does it really have to be this way?
In the middle of the mess, the prophecy of Isaiah 61 shines like a beacon of hope in a stormy night. The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; (Isaiah 61:1-3a).
As we know and experience the Christ, the One of whom this prophecy spoke, we are able to know an inner peace that transcends the storms of life. It’s a peace that is more powerful than a superficial holiday emotional high. In our brokenness and pain, Christ is there to bind us up, if we allow Him to do it. He is there to bring good news and set us free from our bondage. Will you allow Him to comfort you, to bring you peace? As we experience Him, our Christmas Season can be one of serenity in the middle of insanity, of peace through the pandemonium.