President’s Post – Christmas is finally here, and it’s time to celebrate

Christmas is finally here, and it is time to celebrate. It reminds me of a hymn that was written hundreds of years ago.

“Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her king.” Those words were written by Isaac Watts, a pastor and prolific hymn writer living in the 18th century. He wrote over 750 hymns, but “Joy to the World” is among his most famous.

On the night of Jesus’ birth, we read in Luke 2 that shepherds living out in the fields were watching their flock of sheep. 

An angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to them, the glory of the Lord shown about them and the shepherds were terrified. 

But what did the angel of the Lord say? “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).

So much that we see and observe in the world today is sin, brokenness, devastation and even death. In a world that has wandered and drifted so far from God, some will naturally ask, “How can there be joy?”

Christmas time is a special time of year, but it can also be a lonely time for hurting and brokenhearted people. Perhaps, everywhere they turn, they are reminded of those whom they have lost or a family member they no longer speak to. Some of our incredible Liberty students might be experiencing a family situation with a divorce or a loved one who has
passed away.

My encouragement to you is that Christmas is not about the absence of pain but the presence of peace because of Jesus Christ. Isaiah had prophesied some 800 years before the birth of Christ, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given… and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

Jesus is the Prince of Peace and came as the ultimate peace offering. God sent his only Son, not just to be born in a stable and placed in a manger, but so that his Son might offer up his own life on our behalf.

Jesus told the religious teacher Nicodemus exactly why he had come into the world and what his life, death and resurrection would ultimately mean. One of my favorite Bible verses in all of Scripture comes from that same passage in John 3 with Nicodemus — it is the real purpose behind the Christmas season.

Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Christmas is the perfect reminder that amid loneliness, depression, heartache, pain and loss, there is far greater peace, hope and glory found only in Jesus Christ. Because of Jesus, we don’t just hope things will turn out better; we have the assurance that all the promises of God have their Yes in Jesus Christ.

We are told in that final book of Revelation that Emmanuel, “God with us,” will live with his people and “wipe away every tear from their eye;” “death will be no more” and “neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore” (Revelation 21:4). Only Jesus can do that.

So how can you have joy at Christmastime? Only by placing your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Have you made a decision for Christ? Do it today.

On behalf of Liberty University, Carol and I want to wish our students, faculty and administration a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. We love you, and we are praying for you.

Prevo is the Interim President of Liberty University.

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