“Suddenly, a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:13-14, NIV)
The year, 2020, has by every measure been a time of confusion, global sickness and tragic loss of life. In America, we have navigated one of the most contentious elections ever and still pay for the sins of our forefather’s who felt slavery was ever a good thing! Physical isolation has caused much heartache as humans were not designed to be chronically alone. Social media allows for both positive and negative results which rest solely in the heart of the user. Have I left anything out? I am certain my list is not exhaustive, but you get the point.
December is my favorite month of the year, perhaps because it is the month in which I was born (smiling!). When I was a child, this might have been the case but after seven decades on earth, birthdays highlight a greater sense of thankfulness, even in the year, 2020. As we begin our journey through this month, I hope we can set aside the time to think about a birthday celebration, not mine, but that of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Please go back to the Scripture verse leading into this writing and read it one more time.
Since the time of Abraham and Sarah, God planned to visit the world. No one knew how or when but His promise, though little understood at the time was anticipated for centuries. Then, in a stable meant for the keeping of animals, the Savior of the world was born! Today, in remembrance, Christians celebrate this “anticipation” through what is referred to as “Advent” beginning in the month of December leading up to Christmas Day. The dictionary defines advent as “The arrival of a notable person, thing, or event.” In Luke’s account of the birth of Jesus, he says, God’s “favor” rests on men, meaning all people. What is the meaning of “favor?” Well, let’s go back to our friendly Dictionary. The word favor in this case is a noun, which means “An act of kindness beyond what is due or usual.”
Friend, in this time of advent, as we move closer each day toward the arrival celebration of Jesus Christ, whether you are physically alone or able to be in an earthly family loving you, remember that God has blessed each and every one of us with His “favor,” “an act of kindness beyond what is due or usual.” Immanuel, God with us, came to save us!
With you, waiting with anticipation.