Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Today, we celebrate. We celebrate Christ, who came in flesh to dwell among us. And we celebrate Christ because he is going to come again to make all things new. He will restore his creation to its glorious state, and all of our suffering and strife and sin will pass away. Peace on earth and goodwill toward men will become reality, and his kingdom will know no end.
When we say “Merry Christmas,” we’re not just passing along a clichéd seasonal greeting. We are proclaiming to the world that a baby’s birth in a Bethlehem manger some 2,000 years ago is a source of joy and celebration for all the earth.
It is also a victory cry, raining down upon the serpent and his subordinates who strive to deceive and inspire doubt, a reminder of the crushing weight of Christ’s heel upon his head.
Finally, “Merry Christmas” is an encouragement that he is coming again to set everything right, to consummate his eternal kingdom, to wipe away tears as every ounce of pain and sadness is overwhelmed by joy and gladness. It serves as a reminder of who he is, what he’s done, and what he will do.
All glory be to Christ, for he has come and he is coming again! Merry Christmas!
For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophet seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years,
Shall come the time foretold;
When peace shall over all the earth,
Its ancient splendors fling,
And the whole world send back the song,
Which now the angels sing.
- It Came Upon a Midnight Clear