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December 6, 2022

Let Joy Erupt

It is easy to say abstract principles about God and think we know who he is. God is infinite and eternal, and we all nod and fall asleep. These truths we confess about God float in the ether and never touch down in our lives. 

The incarnation changed all of that. 

When Mary laid Jesus in a feeding trough, she laid truth in a feeding trough. When the shepherds crowded in to see the swaddled baby, they crowded in to see goodness. And when the wise men gave gifts, they gave them to the Infinite. 

We can easily think of God as this frozen, unmoved mover in the sky. But that is all wrong. He is life itself. He is all the joy and goodness we can imagine. He is everything bright and glorious. 

At the first Christmas, the infinite God filled this world with himself. When the world was dark and void, God came in to share his life and joy. He strung the first Christmas light in the sky. He organized the first Christmas choir. He set up the first Christmas nativity. 

This means that Christmas is not a celebration that we invent. Rather, it is a celebration that God hosts. In fact, he is not just the host, he is the party itself. He is the source of all light and gladness. He is the ultimate gift giver in giving us all these gifts: feasts, families, lights, and music. And then He gave himself.  

This first Christmas feast was an invasion. It was an eruption in the midst of the world’s night. God did not shy away from the darkness of our world but he came himself in the flesh. In this corrupt world, where death and sin surround us, Joy burst out. 

This joy is unstoppable and it defies the darkness. Tyrants have plotted traps, soldiers have slaughtered babies, and families have had to flee to safety. But this joy is strong and deep and real. He cannot be stopped. 

This is what New Saint Andrews College celebrates every year. The birth of indomitable joy. The coming of victorious light. The presence of God with us. This is why we sing in the dark. This is why we give gifts. This is why we set up a Christmas tree on our building. Jesus has come and the sunrise is with us. This drives our program, our lives, and our college.