Great Sin, Good Will, Gracious God

There is a popular expectation that Christmas is a time of universal goodwill and kindness. Certainly, charitable giving may increase, and people spend money on items for others rather than themselves. We prepare large dinners for others to enjoy and send cards to keep afloat ancient friendships. Yet man’s sinful nature is just as much evident at this time of year than any other. This very week, much of Lancaster and Morecambe had its water supply cut off. Frozen pipes had burst in Monday’s thaw, and United Utilities had provided thousands of bottles of free drinking water until repairs could be made. Relatives of mine know a proprietor of several nursing homes who shared that the crate holding the bottles of drinking water left outside his premises were plundered by motorists. Not bothering to drive further, they left at least 29 vulnerable residents without drinking water. Ho, Ho, Ho.

Two weeks before Christmas, a thug at a certain railway station approached a blind couple. He was making rude, leering comments to her; when her partially-sighted partner objected, he was pushed to the head, forcing him over. The Presiding Justice squirmed as he heard how the victim was forced to crawl on his hands and knees in an attempt to find his glasses, while his girlfriend was subjected to more lewd remarks. For what it is worth, the assailant will be receiving this year’s Christmas dinner at His Majesty’s expense. Ho, Ho, Ho? No, No, No. The much vaunted ‘good will towards men’ is from God to us, in the person of Jesus Christ, the long-promised Saviour. Far from being a glorious platform upon which to showcase our goodness, Christmas is too often a horrible magnification of our greed, selfishness, pride and spiritual emptiness. I have no doubt that even fallen humans are capable of great acts of kindness and I encourage any reader to be a giver rather than a mere recipient. Just remember that the first Christmas was primarily about God remedying our sin, which was, and is, very great indeed. God's gracious good favour towards humans creates peace between earth and heaven, sinners and Creator. That is the good news, the glad tidings of great joy. 

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:14

Image by Eak K. from Pixabay