There is no doubt that we have and may soon again experience a recession in our nation. Because of the recession, vast sums of wealth have been lost by many. That wealth was lost through unemployment, foreclosures, and market losses, to name just a few of the means by which it was lost. Understandably, those losses have been the cause of a variety of emotions, anguish, anxiety, fear, and depression being among them. But these losses don’t even compare to the greatest loss of wealth known to Man. Yet that loss also brought the greatest joy and relief ever known to Man.
What loss of wealth might that be? And how could joy come to anyone from a loss of great wealth? What kind of relief can come from any loss of wealth, let alone a great one?
Well, it’s actually a loss that a large portion of the World celebrates. In fact, we’re about to celebrate it in the United States. It is called Christmas.
We often think of Christmas as the story in Bible story told in the book of Luke and we think of baby Jesus in a manger. But another verse describes the Christmas story this way:
Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. Phillipians 2:6-7
And there you have it. The greatest “loss” of wealth in the history of time, the second person of the Trinity that is the very essence of God, who is God, laying aside all the prerogatives and “wealth” of being God to become a Man.
So how does that bring great joy and relief?
When you soberly consider the fact that something in this world is badly wrong (and no one can really deny it), the heart would rightly despair if there were no realistic hope that things might some day be made right. When we see ourselves doing things that we know deep down don’t even meet our own understanding of rightness and justice and mercy, how despairing to go through life with no hope that you could never change.
But that’s what Christmas announces: God knows that things need to be made “right” and He came that, in time, He could “make things right” and by his resurrection demonstrate to us that the evil in this world does not have the final say.
There is a basis for hope. Christ’s birth was the “announcement” that brought “joy to the world” and that joy extends “as far as the curse (of sin and evil) is found.”
So, as vast sums of wealth are exchanged between merchant and buyer over this Christmas season, let us not forget the wealth that was “lost” to purchase for us a Gift we could never have afforded.