At Christmas During a December visit to New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, I paused to admire the magnificent Christmas tree. It was covered with angels and surrounded at its base by an elaborate 18th-century nativity scene. Nearly 200 figures, including shepherds, the Magi, and a crowd of townspeople, looked in anticipation toward the manger or gazed up in awe at the angels.
But one figure appeared different from the rest—a barefoot man, who carried a heavy load on his back and looked at the ground. It struck me that this man, like so many people today, was so weighed down that he couldn’t see the Messiah.
Christmas can be a difficult time for those who carry the burden of hard work, stressful family situations, and personal loss. But we should remember that Christ came into our world to lift up all those who are bowed down. Jesus used the words of Isaiah to announce His God-given mission on earth: “To bring Good News to the poor. . . . To proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free” (Luke 4:18).
Jesus came to lift our burdens so we can raise our eyes to welcome Him at Christmas. —DAVID MCCASLAND
To find true joy at Christmas, look to Jesus.
LUKE 4:14-21 NKJV – Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord .” Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
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