In contrast to the real message of Christmas, every December, we hear of the “Christmas Spirit” or “Holiday Cheer” usually implying some sort of seasonal generosity or undefined goodness that should—at least for a few weeks—grip our hearts and minds.

But what happened to the “good news of great joy?” Where do you see this great joy? As you walk about town, ride in your car or the tram, or shop, do you see great joy on the faces of others?

It appears to be exactly the opposite.

People seem busy rushing here and there, frantically trying to get ready for the dinners, parties, and events to have time to stop and wonder what it’s all about. The reality is that they might even have snarls on their faces as they search for a parking place or the perfect gift for someone.

But don’t let them spoil your good mood! Instead, let this truth take a hold of your mind: a Savior was born on a real day in history. Through him, God, the Creator of the universe, offers us a permanent place in his kingdom.

So it really doesn’t matter whether you get a good parking place, or that you’ve managed to find that perfect gift, or that you can’t be with everyone you wanted to be with for Christmas. The fact remains that Jesus was born and because of him all of life can be different. We have a bright future that no one can take away from us.

It’s Jesus, and Jesus alone, who brings the truly good news to us. His message includes the promise that everything we ever lost will be restored to us, every genuine relationship created by God will last forever, nothing bad in our lives will remain. In fact, our greatest pain or disappointment is not even worth mentioning compared to the glory that will be revealed in the end.