This has always struck me as an odd thing to say about Christmas. It seems to me that actually the very opposite is true. We definitely do not tell the truth at Christmas. You don’t believe me? Well how about when you open that hideous gift, what do you say? “It’s lovely” or perhaps “it was just what I always wanted!” How about the fight for the remote? Are you prepared to relinquish control, smile and say, “No I really don’t mind what we watch.” Or what about the classic, “I couldn’t eat another thing”, as you reach for the Quality Street. And one for the men, “No your bum definitely does not look big in that!” Do you still think you always tell the truth at Christmas? The reality is that in order to get through the festive season a lot of little white lies will have to be told and then forgotten.
However, there is a truth that we can be sure of at Christmas. In the Bible in the book of John, Chapter 3, verse 16 it says, “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why; so that no one need be destroyed; by believing Jesus, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the whole world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.”
I always find it amazing at Christmas to think about how the mighty, powerful, holy God who made the entire universe and created humankind in His image, allowed himself to become a foetus carried in the womb of a teenage, unmarried mother. He was born in an animal shed. The angelic host that heralded this cosmic event appeared to men working out in the fields. His parents then had to protect the baby from death by fleeing to another country and becoming refugees. So this then is the ultimate truth to tell at Christmas, summed up in one word, Emmanuel – God is with us. God with us in our vulnerability; God with us in our fear; God with us in our pain; God with us in the filth; God with us in our shame and God with us in our homelessness. I hope and pray that whether you have a Merry Christmas and a happy new year or not, you will know the truth that whatever your circumstances, God is with you. Not because any of us are worthy of Him but because He loves you so much that He gave his Son, his one and only Son, so that you will not be destroyed but by believing in Him you can experience a whole and lasting life.