Why is Christmas? Because we the people need help. Sin is rampant. Violence is rampant. Gun violence is rampant. INIQUITY combines all three. We need change.

Christmas is the reminder that change has come in Jesus’ birth. There is new life in Christ. In the Gospel of Luke, Zechariah speaks, “By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our way into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:78-79). Dawn has broken in Christ! Light shines in Christ! Guidance is graced by Jesus. Peace is real in Jesus. The grace of God happens through Jesus Christ. Grace is God’s guarantee of deliverance!

What follows is US. God has come in Jesus to free and empower US to make real the Reign of God. In Titus 2:11-14, the writer says the grace of God is “…training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, . . .[to] live lives that are self-controlled, upright and godly . . . . [That Jesus has come to] redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.”

Graced for good deeds!

James Boyce, Emeritus Professor of New Testament and Greek at LTS, and “God Pause” Theological Editor, writes in “God Pause”, “The invitation to celebrate the birth of Jesus has a purpose; it wants to change our lives for the sake of the world around us . . . . how will that celebration change the kind of good works that you and I do tomorrow for the sake of God’s world?”

Jim concludes with this prayer. “O God of my salvation, I give thanks to you that you have sent your Son in order to redeem my life from the power of sin and evil; now transform my life that I may be empowered to act in ways of justice and mercy for the sake of my neighbor. Amen”

During this pandemic, suicides are up, domestic violence is up, shootings are up, the Proud Boys and Boogaloo Bois stir violence, martial law is put on the table to overturn the election, guns are a favorite Christmas present. INIQUITY is a national death star. Into this INIQUITOUS mess, we celebrate Jesus coming to Lighten our darkness by transforming us to live in peace by demanding gun laws for the common good and safety in our homes.

In Christ’s Light!

Ron Letnes (Rev. Dr.)