Read Luke 2:1-14
In the movie, Kingdom of Heaven, the lead character, Balian, speaks to his dying father, Godfrey, as they travel together to Jerusalem during the crusades. After being told by his father that he must serve the King of Jerusalem, he asks, “What could a king ask of a man like me?” His father answers with, “A better world than has ever been seen.” I think God is looking for the same thing from us who encounter His Son, Jesus Christ, the King of Kings. The message of Advent and Christmas is not just that Christ was born, but that He was born to change the way we live. We are called to live in such a way as to make “a better world than has ever been seen.” This involves vision and sacrifice. Canadian educator Claude Thomas Bissel is credited by some with the following quote, also know as the West Point Cadet Maxim: “Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible.” The principle behind these words and countless others like them, at least to my mind as I look back over history, has only one possible source: the Advent of Christ. God risked, cared, dreamed, and expected more and He calls us to do the same through His Son, not just at Christmas, but all year long. He’s asking us for a better world. I’m reminded of this every time I look up in Goodwill Church’s old sanctuary and see the quote from angels, as recorded in Luke 2:14 (KJV), on the front wall above the altar: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.” This is where our church got its name. Our King commissions us to give God glory and, in His strength, make a better world.
Lord, give me the strength and vision to do what I can to make this a better world. There’s so much written in Your Word which exhorts us to care for and love others in Your Name. Help me not just to read it, but to live it. Amen.