For this Christmas season, I first pictured our December petit four as bold and eye-catching among our other delicate desserts: a dazzling gold bow atop beautiful, smooth red fondant draped delicately over the sides of a sponge cake. But although our Christmas petit four is indeed very attractive, it does not sit brightly in the center of the display cabinet. Instead it waits at the back—perhaps barely even noticed.
Our petit four comes from the proclamation of an angel to an unlikely audience: “I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” Luke 2:10 (NIV)
The good news is the birth of Jesus, the Savior of humanity.
That very first Christmas, in a small bustling town preparing for a census of the Roman world, the good news arrived in a very small bundle, unheeded except by a few people (Luke 2:1-7). The birth of God’s Son—a royal birth—did not come with formal proclamation, and did not take place in a residence fit for a king. Instead, the Son of God was born in squalid conditions, to an ordinary couple, unnoticed by people nearby.
But this does not mean that the good news was not made known! With dramatic celestial sights and sounds, God informed a group who lived on the outskirts of mainstream society. Angels filled the sky announcing Jesus’s birth to shepherds (Luke 2:8-14) who were alone in the fields outside Bethlehem, away from the throngs in the town awaiting the census. Another sign in the sky was discerned by a few citizens living in a faraway country, and of a different religion—but who were purposeful in their searching. These were the Magi, astrologers, who came from the East and followed the star that led them to Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1-2).
Today, the good news of great joy may seem barely perceptible or even implausible in the hectic rush of holiday preparations and celebrations. But God’s message of jubilation and peace is still here, and no one is excluded from its reach—this news is for everyone, regardless of social standing or physical or spiritual distance.
Among your activities this season, I encourage you to take time to discover God’s gift, and to truly celebrate the news of Jesus’s birth.
And this month, I would like to hear from you! Perhaps in addition to enjoying this spiritual petit four, you are baking some delightful desserts for the holidays. What are they, and where do you find your inspiration? We would love to see your creations. Post your comment and upload your photographs to share with other readers.