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“The Best of the Season to You!”

December 12, 2017 No Comment

Rev. Dr. Glenn E. Schaeffer

by Glenn E. Schaeffer

The Christmas radio commercial went something like this: “A common greeting during this holiday season is ‘Wishing you all the best of the season.’ Do you know where to receive the ‘best of the season’?” The advertiser, a Toronto-based diamond store, suggested the “best of the season” was found at their store.

Is the “best of the Christmas season” found in a jewelry store? Is the “best of the season” seeing the magical glow in the eyes of our young children on Christmas morning? Is the “best of the season” the love and friendship we share with family and friends? Is the “best of the season” happiness and good health?

Where is the “best of the season” found and experienced? Jesus, who was conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary and whose birthing room was a cow stable, is the “very best of the season!” A sign in front of a church building proclaimed, “The perfect gift is found in a manger not a mall.”

At first glance this infant wrapped in swaddling clothes looks like any other Jewish baby born to moderately poor parents. There is nothing spectacular about His appearance that would suggest He is the “best of the season.” As Isaiah foretold of Him, “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him” (Isaiah 53:2). There is certainly nothing awe-inspiring in His humble surroundings that would hint at His importance.

Things do not always appear as they are, and certainly many people today do not comprehend how wondrous the Gift is that has come down from heaven. They do not realize that the “best of the season” is found in a manger, in the person of Jesus Christ.

We know differently. The real mystery of Christmas, and one which brings millions around the world to their knees in worship, is that this tiny Infant is the eternal Son of the Most High. He is God in the flesh! The angel Gabriel announced to Mary, some nine months before the birth of our Lord, “Fear not Mary for you have found favour with God. You will be with child and will 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. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end… The holy one to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:30-33, 35). Of this Child we sing, “O Lord, you have created all! How did you come to be so small to sweetly sleep in manger bed where lowing cattle lately fed?” (Lutheran Worship 38:2).

The real mystery of Christmas, and one which brings millions around the world to their knees in worship, is that this tiny Infant is the eternal Son of the Most High.

Jesus, the son of Mary, God’s holy Son made flesh, the King of all kings, is the “best of the season.” Therefore, when we are overcome by shame for some sin committed, Mary’s Son assures us that our sins are forgiven by the blood He shed on Calvary’s cross. When we are faced with sickness and even death, God’s Son grants us hope and victory over the grave for He promises, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies” (John 11:25). When we are depressed and overwhelmed with life, the King of kings invites, “Come unto Me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

And so, as we worship Jesus, the Son of Mary, God’s holy Son made flesh, the King of all kings, I say to all of you, “The best of the season to you.

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Rev. Dr. Glenn E. Schaeffer is President of the Alberta-British Columbia District of Lutheran Church–Canada.

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