“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’” Luke 4:16-19
As Jesus starts His ministry in Luke 4, He reads from one of my favorite passages in scripture: Isaiah 61:1-2. What good news this is as we enter Christmas time! Isaiah 61 continues saying in verse 3:
“to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”
This is why Christ has come to our world: where we are quick to mourn the brokenness of our situations and find our hearts heavy with a spirit of despair, Christ comes to bring beauty to our broken lives and fill us with joy and praise. When He comes again, Revelation 21 says, “‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” What comfort.
I pray that if the holidays feel hard for you this year, that you would find yourself so comforted by Christ. If you’ve lost someone this year, Jesus weeps with you and promises to bring you joy. If there is fear or uncertainty in your circumstances, Jesus draws close to you and promises you peace.
Christ has come to make all things new, to redeem all that is broken, and this is the gift of Christmmas, that as we string lights around our Christmas trees and wrap gifts to give to others, we are comforted by the Light of the World who came and gave us the greatest gift of Salvation, and will come again to make all sad things untrue.