One winter’s evening a young man was asked by his father to walk about thirty feet out front of the house and retrieve the newspaper. The boy responded, “It’s awfully dark out there.” But his dad said it would be okay…after all it wasn’t very far to go. The boy sized up the situation thru the storm door and looked up at dad and said, “It’s awful dark out there, dad.” But the dad assured him, he would stand right there by the door and keep an eye out. With that the boy dashed out the door, ran and got the paper and rushed as quickly as he could back into the house. Grabbing his fathers legs, he exhaled and said, “It’s too dark to go out there without a father!”
Listen, I don’t know what you’re facing in your life right now. I know some live with a sense of loneliness that just doesn’t leave them for long. I know some are feeling the economic crunch or the stress of unemployment. Maybe the most important human relationship you have is faltering. One beloved young mother I know is trying to live past Christmas day so her children won’t associate her death with that wonderful holiday. Some of you have monsters of the past to deal with. Some of you live every day in a real knock-down, drag-out battle. Maybe guilt and shame won’t give you a break. Maybe it’s been a long, long time since you felt really good…really loved…really blessed.
Or maybe things are just fine in your life right now…family is near and well…you have enough money to care for needs and even a present or two…you have good friends…your health is okay and the future doesn’t seem so bad.
Whatever your life is like right now…this much I know…”It’s way too dark to go out there without a Father.” And the most basic, enduring reason for my merry Christmas is that I don’t have to go out there alone. I hope and pray you don’t have to either. And it’s not because we are on the “good enough” list. It’s because He is good enough to offer us Himself, bless Him. Nearly 2000 years ago, Jesus brought the Light of Himself to a dark, dark world. He is still lighting up the darkness for people just like us…wherever we are. Dare to believe that not only is He not mad at you and working against you, but that He cares for you and has been working, even behind the scenes for your welfare since before the world was. Believe that He not only doesn’t hate you, He loves you…that not only does He love you, but He delights in you…that not only does He accept you in Jesus, but He wants you…that not only does He forgive, He risks His own reputation to do so…that not only does He forgive your past, He forgives your present…and all your future as it unfolds for good or ill…that no matter what anyone, including you, says or does against you, He answers with an old rugged Cross and an empty Tomb. Now there’s a reason for a Merry Christmas! God bless you!