It is day three in the twelve days of Christmas. In the Church Calendar, Christmas in not only one day in which we celebrate the birth of Christ, but a season between December 25 and January 5 in which Christians express their joy over the incarnation of Jesus. It is an intentional time of affirming the wonderful truth that Jesus is fully man and fully God; that Jesus has gone before us and brought salvation; that in Jesus our sins are forgiven. And that, my friends, is reason to spend twelve days in celebration. God has graciously come to earth for our deliverance from sin, death, and hell.
The Apostle John began his first epistle telling us the reason he writes about Jesus is to make our joy complete. With Jesus the light, the good news, has come. If we enter the light and walk in the light, eschewing the darkness, we participate and have fellowship with God through Jesus. Through Jesus, if we confess our sins God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all that is unrighteous and of the darkness.
As a pastor who leads worship in a more liturgically oriented church, the gospel of Jesus is presented each and every Sunday through the liturgy. My favorite part in the service, and my most joyous experience, is when, having confessed our sins together I declare the assurance of pardon from our God using Scripture. Often I quote from this passage in 1 John.
This is a time of year in which Christians can choose to praise the Lord for salvation from sin. It is a season to reflect on the gracious reality that God has chosen to come near to us in Jesus. These are days in which our reflection upon the person and work of Christ is to lead us to eternal praise as we glorify our Lord and Savior, Jesus. Glory to God in the highest; peace on earth; and, goodwill to humanity on whom his favor rests!
Gracious God, I praise your holy name for sending your Son, the Lord Jesus, to this earth in order to redeem humanity. Help me so completely to confess my sins and accept your forgiveness that I glorify your name. May your good news of salvation permeate my life in both words and actions in the power of the Spirit. Amen.