Season of goodwill
Christmas is a very important time for charities. Throughout December, we will all be receiving more than the usual amount of glossy flyers and printed envelopes asking us to donate to good causes, along with Christmas cards from great aunts and second-cousins-once-removed.
Whether it’s animal shelters, third world aid or medical charities, our heart strings will probably be tugged every time we pick up the post this December.
You might think that Christmas would be the worst possible time to solicit donations, given the expense involved in buying presents, visiting family and attending Christmas parties, but it is in fact a time when people are at their most generous.
Christmas is known as the season of goodwill, and many people associate that with being generous to those less fortunate than themselves. We are reminded how fortunate we are to live in the time and place that we do.
What we often fail to see is that we are living in a season of goodwill all of the time. This season of goodwill began with the first Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ. It certainly wouldn’t have seemed it at the time, but the birth of Jesus in the small town of Bethlehem over 2000 years ago heralded a new age.
Before the birth of Jesus, humanity had been at odds with God. Ever since Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, the relationship between their descendants and Maker had been broken. Mankind had turned away from God, wishing to go its own way.
Even those who tried to have a relationship with God failed miserably, time after time, to make the effort required to keep the relationship alive. Because of their sin, a perfect God just couldn’t be near to the creation he had made and loved.
But then came one who would change all of that. With the birth of Jesus came an opportunity to make things right again. With Jesus, there came the opportunity to have all our sins forgiven and our relationship with God restored.
God sent Jesus to show us that he didn’t want the relationship to be broken anymore, and he was taking steps to fix it. He was making a way to deal justly with the sin of the world, without punishing those who deserved it, and allowing us to again have a relationship with himself.
God showed goodwill to mankind, by giving us a chance to know him, through Jesus Christ. What God did for us in sending Jesus went beyond generosity; he showed mercy — and he continues to do so.
The opportunity to get right with God remains open to all those on whom God calls. If he is stirring your heart this Christmas, if you feel separated from your Creator and want to know him, then God’s goodwill is still open to you.
Lowri Haf Iorwerth