This Third Sunday in Advent, what does the news of Jesus Christ, our Savior is born, mean to you? Many of us celebrate Christmas. What difference does it make in the world around us and what is the world today really celebrating? Is it truly the birth of Christ? A Savior come to save the world? And what does that mean, to save the world? With Christmas trees cut down and placed in our homes, lit up with sparkly lights, bulbs hanging and tinsel; gifts for each other, hustle and bustle all over town in a rush to get it all done and mail out the cards, decorate the house, all in a rush to have it over in a day – and what were we celebrating it all for – where in all this is the birth of a Savior Child? Or the joy, peace, or rest of the season? <sigh> Something is amiss…. Are people truly happier? More at peace? Is the world satisfied? Why is there so much unrest? What is it our hearts really hunger for in all the hustle and bustle, packaging and paper? What was Jesus’ birth really all about, and how does one bring that home to rest inside where all that hunger is? How does one bring the joy, peace and rest home to the heart?…….
There are many who may find this hustle and bustle empty…. meaningless….. leaving us wanting. Perhaps it is in bringing Jesus home to the heart that one will truly find the fullness being sought that this season is all about. In finding Him it changes everything. The world no longer looks the same! – And the question, “What did Jesus come to do in “saving the world?” comes alive – one sees the world differently. It truly is the whole world He came to save – to bring peace, mercy, kindness, order, and love to. Through us. Our choices are one way that He saves the world. It isn’t a magical thing that happens, it happens when we choose to put down our guns and weapons of war, when we instead of exploit one another, the animal kingdom, the planet, instead make kinder, gentler choices, in the best interests of each other, the animal kingdom, the planet, and choose love. Each and every one of us. It isn’t the wars in some far distant land (though they are not right) that I’m talking about. It is what appears ‘normal.’
Every day we make choices in this industrialized, comsumerized, corporate controlled world, and those choices support the system that brought us those products or choices. Whether it be a sweat shop exploiting child labor that made the item, a rainforest was clear cut to make the packaging for our Barbie doll gift, or some war driven country whose oil we buy supports their war; perhaps the turkey on the table came from a factory farm where they live in squalor and are tortured before coming to the super market. Or, perhaps in buying that jacket with the fur trim, the animals life that was taken bringing us the fur was skinned alive in China or even right here at home. It’s a daunting world we live in. In some ways, we cannot avoid causing others suffering. But we’ve got to try. The reason the world is in such a state as it is, is because it is hungry. And not for the stuff that it keeps seeking after and buying more of meanwhile destroying the animal kingdom, the earth and each other; no, not for the money or the power or the prestige of the world’s systems. But for the One in Whose Name we rush about during the hustle and bustle of this worldly celebration of His birth. Perhaps it is time to put away the world, and come home to the fullness of Life that only the Savior Child can give.