There is a magic that often accompanies the Christmas season. Time with family, grandma’s cookin’, and Hallmark movies with unrealistically happy endings – all marking a nation-wide return to innocence. It’s as if the whole country all at once gives in to the year-long urge to lay all of the mess of life aside and return to a childhood bliss. Like a flock of birds journeying south for warmer weather, we all fly in unison towards the Christmas season and that nostalgic warmth of a time before responsibility, the anxieties of adulthood, and the tough reality of evil.

This Christmas season, however, the journey south has been arduous. The sun’s rays are increasingly blocked by political tensions and more, with every news cycle further shaking the illusion of Christmas innocence.

Why is this Christmas effect illusory? Because it is built on an erroneous foundation. The world is never innocent; it is never safe. It is fallen, and the entire Hallmark library of movies cannot change that. On the contrary, the Bible points to a much different foundation. Christians are not blind to the brokenness of this present world. We mourn over injustice alongside the rest of humanity; however, we know that the King has come to set things right. This king, Jesus, has come, and he is the cornerstone of that foundation. As the prophet Isaiah said:

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore.”

The world will remain fallen until Christ’s return, and Christians are not promised lives of material bliss or power. That’s not the promise of Christmas. The birth of Jesus was the culmination of the many Old Testament promises that the Messiah would come. This Messiah and King has indeed come. He reigns in power with justice and equity. With his life, death, and resurrection he has begun the process of ushering in God’s kingdom on earth. There is no longer a need to fly south once a year to feel some phantom innocence. Christ has made us forever innocent before God, and the sun now shines year-round.