“It’s the most wonderful time of the year …” proclaims Andy Williams in that popular Christmas song. For Christians, the seasons of Advent and Christmas really are one of the “most wonderful times of the year.” We hear the prophet Isaiah proclaim, “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.” (Isaiah 60:1) We contemplate the incredible message proclaimed by an angel to a young virgin girl, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.” (Luke 1:30-31) We are spectators of an private angelic concert performed for shepherds, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:14) And we contemplate the mystery of all mysteries, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” (John 1:1, 14) Jesus is Immanuel … God with us! Advent and Christmas is not just a wonderful time of the year, it is a WONDROUS time of the year.
We pray that as you contemplate and worship this “great and mighty wonder” of God’s Incarnate Love, named Jesus, that you will resonate with Martin Luther’s expression of faith when he pondered the birth of God’s eternal Son:
My heart for joy must leap;
My lips no more can silence keep.
I, too, must sing with joyful tongue
That sweetest ancient cradlesong:
Glory to God in highest heav’n,
Who unto us His Son has giv’n!
While angels sing with pious mirth
A glad new year to all the earth.
(From: From “Heaven Above to Earth I Come,” Martin Luther, LSB 358:14-15)