In the TV program, “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” Charlie Brown asks in frustration, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” Linus responded, “Sure Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.” And Linus took the stage and recited Luke 2:8-14. This is what Christmas is all about.
In the early days of WWII, Winston Churchill told the people of Britain that they were in their “darkest hour.” Now we the people of America are in a “dark winter.” When we come to Zacharias’ song of praise in the first chapter of Luke, we see the end of a long extended darkness. We see the promise in which “the Sunrise from on high will visit us" (Luke 1:78)
Concerning the birth of John the Baptist, who would prepare the way for the coming of Jesus into the world, the Gospel of Luke records,
“Now the time had come for Elizabeth to give birth, and she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and her relatives heard that the Lord had displayed His great mercy toward her; and they were rejoicing with her.” (Luke 1:57-58)
There had been promises and prophecies. Now there was an actual baby and Luke is careful to tell us that this is a sign of God’s great mercy. God displayed His great mercy toward Elizabeth. It is a wonderful example of how God bestows His tender mercy on us as well.
We most often think of giving God thanks and glorifying Him for His mercy and what He has done for us. But how often do we think of giving Him thanks and glorifying Him because He is a God of judgment? According to the Virgin Mary’s Song of Praise in Luke chapter 1, the coming of Jesus Christ into the world at Christmas is not only about extending mercy and grace and lifting up the humble. But it also about scattering into the wind those who are proud in the thoughts of their hearts and bringing down rulers from their thrones.