Christ did not remain in the tomb, but rose and lives.
The meaning of Christmas in Germany, however, gives the church freedom to proclaim the miraculous story of Jesus once again—that Christ was born for all people, that outsiders from the East are welcomed to greet the newborn Savior, and that lowly shepherds can proclaim the Good News of great joy.
What images come to mind when you think of our Savior? Perhaps you visualize Jesus as an infant, picture him ministering to the poor and oppressed, think somberly of his crucifixion, worship him in awe as you remember his triumph over the grave and anticipate his coming again.
In this advent season, when we celebrate the incarnation, let us be careful to not let the sentimentality of the Christmas story hide the mystery of the God of the universe becoming that vulnerable child laying in a manger. That child is the same rock that miraculously provided for the Israelites in the desert, and he is the same rock in whom we can trust today.
The longer I live, the more aware I am of the world’s need for a savior. News outlets broadcast this year’s madness of ISIS and North Korean Kim Jong-un, the mayhem caused by racial unrest and the thorny task of managing Ebola. Over the course of a lifetime, we have many opportunities to observe injustice, experience loss, and endure illness. It can be overwhelming.