By Rev. Mark Creech
Christian Action League
December 16, 2022
For our redemption, the second person of the Triune God, the Son of God, became a man, entering what has typically been the world’s most sublime joy – the birth of a child. The Scripture says that one night shepherds were guarding their flocks when angels with radiant light suddenly appeared among them and announced, “The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” (Luke 2:11). What joy!!!
The late Dr. John T. McFarland wrote more than a century ago that only those “of brutalized or perverted natures do not feel that thrill” – the thrill of a newborn coming into the world. He added:
“In the mansion in the great city or the lonely cabin out on the rim of the world, this joy is the same. Its springs lie far under all the conventions and accidents of life. Poverty and wealth have nothing to do with it. Bed of straw on manger floor or queen’s couch canopied with silk and gold; it is all the same. The birth song is the note of the world’s generic happiness that, in humankind, is one with the joy of the bird that flutters and sings above her nestlings and with that yet more primitive heart-quiver that runs through all lower life with the shooting of a seed and the opening of a flower. And so, Jesus entered the stream of human joy not halfway down its course but at its fountainhead. Evermore, since Bethlehem, young mothers will think of him when they first feel the soft touch of baby fingers on their breasts, and the strong man will think of him when, with deep joy and pride, he first lifts up a little child and says, ‘This is my son.'”
The late Dr. Henry C. Swentzel, formerly the rector of St. Luke’s Church of Brooklyn, New York, said that Christmas “is a universal fete day, the king of festivals.” Although people suffer many griefs and cares, it seems “no experience of disastrous fortune; no newly made graves can wholly shut out its sunshine…Only one cloud can obstruct its splendors, and that is the cloud of sin.”
Indeed, and profound is our national sin! Its gray overcast blocks the radiant light of the glory of God, which provided the brilliance of the angels above the shepherds’ fields, and the tremendous luminosity of the Star that led people to where the Savior could be found. Our sin is gross and derides Christmas light.
Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case that made abortion legal, has been overturned. In Dobbs V. Jackson, the High Court sent the question of abortion’s legality back to the states. Nevertheless, several states now allow for abortion up to the moment of birth. Alaska, Colorado, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and the District of Columbia allow abortion until birth. This year, forty-six U. S. House Democrats voted for the Women’s Health Care Protection Act, a bill that would have legalized abortion in all fifty states until birth. Even in states that do have gestational limits, there are exceptions.
According to a report from the Christian Post:
“[A]ll states that have laws banning late-term abortion still allow exceptions under certain circumstances, as noted by the Guttmacher Institute, an organization that advocates for abortion rights worldwide. Such exemptions include babies with physical anomalies, and the health of the mother, which can include mental health, according to the pro-life group Operation Rescue.”
Tis little difference between this and Pharoah’s order to the handmaidens of Egypt to kill all the infant male Hebrews at the point of birth. Tis little difference between this and Herod’s command to kill the babies in Bethlehem and the surrounding region to prevent the coming of the Messiah, Jesus. Wicked! Immoral! Depraved!
No doubt Planned Parenthood and pro-choice activists today would have counseled the poor virgin Mary, only a teenager with an unplanned pregnancy, facing complicated and humiliating circumstances, to get an abortion. Progressive pastors heretically argue that God’s Word supports the practice of abortion. Female celebrities cheer the homicide of their own children in the womb. Roguish! Evil! Heinous!
Only a people with brutalized and perverted natures do not feel the thrill of hope and promise and redemption in the birth of a child, no matter the circumstances into which the youngster may come.
In that manger in Bethlehem, the light of Christmas was glorious in the face of the Christ-child. He is the Savior who came for brute sinners such as us. The Bible says he came “to give light to them that sit in darkness!”
This shining light falls upon lives steeped in guilt and its shadows of seemingly hopeless regret. For those who will acknowledge the sin its glow reveals, this light will scatter fear and despair and replace them with pardon and joy. It can penetrate even the darkest places on earth or the blackest places of the soul and fill them with peace, jubilation, and genuine merriment.
There is considerable mock hilarity this season of the year, plenty to muffle the agonizing cry, “Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?” (Romans 7:24). But it is only the Christ-child who makes Christmas, and, apart from his presence in the governing seat of one’s heart, its blessed minstrels cannot delight.
What obstructs actual Christmas splendors but the cloud of our sin?
Any nation, anywhere in the world, that still justifies destroying the innocent life of a child at any stage, is a nation that rejects the Christmas child, the Giver of life and immortality.