December 7, 1941 truly is “a date which will live in infamy,” as President Roosevelt said seventy-seven years ago. As most of the world was at war, the United States made plans for the Christmas season. Top of the Christmas list for many was to avoid war at all costs and we can imagine why. What mother wants to see her little boy go to war? What father wants to leave his family? What young man wants to leave his bride knowing he may never see her again? In an instant, the attack on Pearl Harbor that Sunday morning changed everyone’s Christmas. Yet, families still gathered to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ despite the approaching storm. Patriots everywhere volunteered to place the gift of freedom under the tree and we thank God for their brave sacrifice! Christmas back then is still in some ways Christmas now. It is often that brief snapshot where we hope to ‘forget’ what is right in front of us. We smile for the camera, but still know something is not right in the world. Whether it is war, disease, loss, relational struggles, or something else—we all want peace on earth and peace in our hearts. Where do we find true peace and freedom this Christmas season? C.S. Lewis said, “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” Do you yearn for something this world cannot satisfy? Look to the manger story my dear friend. Look to the purpose of His coming. Look to the cross where Jesus offers you forgiveness, freedom, peace, and an eternal home in Heaven. Jesus has placed this free gift under your tree this year and he longs for you to open it.
Pastor John Stephens