I was watching Monday Night Football last night and it was ugly. (That’s putting it mildly.) I don’t know if it got any better in the second half for the Redskins, but the first half was embarrassing and I just couldn’t watch anymore. Nothing was going right for them. Everything they tried, including some really goofy trick plays, failed miserably and added to the frustration. The fans were booing everything. Even the network commentators, who always try and find a way to put a positive spin on everything, had to admit it was bad.
It seems that’s the way life goes – When things aren’t going well it seems impossible to turn the momentum around and get anything positive going. Then, all of a sudden, something unique happens. A “win” is gained and everyone’s perspective changes. “Big Mo” (momentum) kicks in and it seems like nothing can go wrong.
In a lot of ways that’s what Christmas is about. The Bible says, “the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light” (Matthew 4:16 NLT). Spiritually speaking, things were bad – hopeless in fact. For the most part, people were going through the motions of religion without any relationship with God. That generally produces two kinds of people.
The first are the die-hards. They’re the ones who are going to hold on to the tradition no matter how dull and lifeless those traditions are. They find their joy in reminiscing about the “good old days”.
Then there are those who look for some joy in the present, doing everything they can to find something that will produce joy no matter how fleeting it might be.
Jesus came to fix all of that. This is how He described it-“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 in him, 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 world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again” (John 3:16, 17 The Message).