The sign on the wall of a crisis pregnancy center where I volunteered stated, “Oh God of second chances and new beginnings, here I am again!”
I certainly know that I pray that prayer almost on a daily basis. I mess up a lot! And if the truth be known, you probably do too.
But isn’t that what the baby in the manger is all about? A second chance? A new beginning?
Let’s go back to that first Christmas so long ago. Can you envision the excitement and mystery as the angelic host watched that lowly couple trudge into Bethlehem late at night. Can you hear their whispered comments to each other as they witnessed this marvelous yet quiet birth from a heavenly perspective. “He’s giving them a second chance? Yes. He’s sent His own Son, the beloved of Heaven, into the earth as a defenseless baby? Yes. He’s giving them a second chance. Wow! He must really, really, really, really love those humans.”
Following the still, hushed birth, the Heavens exploded with great joy! Sound and light burst forth over the mountains around Bethlehem as myriads of angelic host were shouting the familiar words: “Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to ALL people. You get a second chance!” (The ‘Ruthie’ translation.)
This good news of great joy came to plain, everyday people like you and me. Shepherds were the first to know. This was good news for everyone, from the lowest to the highest. The angel said, “All People.” We get a second chance. We get a new beginning. A fresh start.
Some of my husband’s favorite verses are II Corinthians 5: 17 & 19:
“Anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it!” “God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins.” (The Message)
Every year about this time the world throws the most extravagant birthday party in history. We call it Christmas. Everywhere you look from department store Santas with funny whiskers, lovely nativity scenes or trees decorated with bright lights and twinkling tinsel, the world is celebrating God’s gift of a second chance, the birth of His precious son. Maybe the ‘world’ doesn’t really understand what Christmas is about, but everyone knows there’s something different about this time of year and they all want in on the party. So join in the celebration this year! Maybe someone will ask you what it is all about, and you get to tell them about the best birthday present in the world. Yeshua, Jesus, the Son of God.