On a starry night 2000 years ago, God did something miraculous: a child was born.
But this was no ordinary child. God himself became one of us.
Now let me emphasize what I’ve just said. This was the Word made flesh. The very Word that was with God from the beginning. The very Word that was God. This same God chose to live as those who follow him and yet still divine.
This leads to a simple question: why must we proclaim the gospel? What new light can we add beyond our festive candles and other Christmas decor?
Look at such biblical stories such as the Creation, Noah’s Ark and the Exodus from Egypt. Within them, God did a brilliant job of making himself known on his own. Look to our efforts in conveying God’s message of love and redemption, and you’ll see a history of hits-and-misses.
So why do our words of praise—our acts of love and mercy—matter? Our God could do this on his own without anyone’s help!
Our words and our acts of kindness do matter in this world. God’s will is done not just by God alone, but through you and me as well. Pay attention to what our gospel says about this:
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
Like John the Baptist, we too are witnesses of Jesus, God’s true light. We’ve experienced his blessings; he’s answered our prayers as he sees fit. He’s given us life, strength and courage. Through his body and blood, he has redeemed us in the eyes of God. Even though we haven’t seen his face, he makes his presence known.
Yes, God has indeed made himself known to us. But for what reason? Hear what the rest of our gospel says:
He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
God made us witnesses of his power so we may believe in God through Christ. We can’t unsee the wonders we’ve seen God do in our lives. And yet even though this true light has made himself known, the world does not know him.
Despite all the good Christ has done, even his own people—perhaps including members of your family, friends, neighbors—do not know him. They have not seen and believed in the things you and I have seen God do. Otherwise they would be among us in worship. God would be their number one priority, just as he is with you.
God has given you all you need to share the gospel with others. God has proven to you time and time again that he will not fail you. God has protected and saved you countless times. God has given you the strength to deal with hopeless and tragic situations.
And yet many of us become timid when it comes to sharing about our love of God with others. We tend to shield this true light from others as if we were hiding the light from these candles from others.
Ask yourself: what more do I really need from God to not be afraid and share my love of God with others when God has given abundantly?