The following is adapted from the most recent edition of a monthly e-mail I send to my BMM colleagues in NE Brazil.

I was strolling through a local supermarket the other day, idly listening to the Christmas carols being blasted over the sound system. Somewhere between Bing Crosby’s somewhat out of place White Christmas and the Beatles’ And So This Is Christmas (possibly the worst Christmas song ever written*), a beautiful arrangement of Hark! The Herald Angels floated from the speakers. And four words stopped me in my tracks: “God and sinners, reconciled”.

I’ve heard them before. Often. Every year. But this time, for some reason, they burned their way into my brain, where they have stayed ever since. If there is a line from a Christmas song the captures the essence of the “the reason for the season”, it is this. A right concept of God and a proper perspective of our sin make the concept of reconciliation a breath-taking, mind-blowing, life-transforming truth.

Not only is this the True Meaning of Christmas ™, so earnestly sought after – but so consistently missed – by every Hallmark holiday movie ever, it is also the essence of the Gospel we are called to preach, and do preach, here in Brazil.

May this Christmas season, and the New Year of 2018, see each one of us  being used of God for the reconciliation of many more sinners to Him.

*And that takes into account such classics as Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer and I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas.