Remember the miners who were trapped in Chile for nearly 70 days a few years ago? Our pastor was talking about how for the first 17 days they did not know whether anyone even knew where they were. They were hopeless, they had run out of food and were simply waiting to die. I can’t imagine the utter despair they must have felt, the hunger, the darkness. But on the 17th day, everything changed as word got to them that they had been found and the rescue was on the way. Light, food, even the chance to talk with loved ones lifted their spirits and gave them hope. They were still trapped in the mine, but now they were living in the context of rescue.
Christmas announces to us that another, even more dramatic rescue has begun. The birth of the baby Jesus is much more than a cute story about an infant in a manger. It’s the story of the Son of God giving up His rightful place on the throne to rescue you and me from our sin and ultimately from death. We’re like the miners in the sense that our rescue has started but isn’t complete. For now, we have little tastes of Heaven; we have light but are still surrounded by darkness. But we have the promise of a full and complete rescue, a promise made by a God who is always faithful. In the midst of all the crazy business and stress of Christmas, I’m going to try to remember what Christmas really is… the beginning of our rescue.