5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God. 6 He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them— he remains faithful forever. 7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free, 8 the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. 9 The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. 10 The Lord reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord.
What a great word – “blessed.” It reminds me of the beatitudes in Matthew 5 where Jesus said “Blessed are the poor in spirit…Blessed are those who mourn…”
The Passion Translation replaces the word ‘blessed’ with “What happiness, what delight…” Isn’t that a great definition of Christmas!? Christmas brings a joy that permeates all of humanity – at Christmas we are all at our best. As the angels declared, “on earth peace, good will among men” (see Luke 2:14 KJV).
But this ‘blessedness’ that God intended was not for one day only. This “happiness”, this “delight” was to be a perpetual state of joy – predicated not on a day, but on a Person. This state of delight happens when Jesus becomes our help, when He becomes our hope. It is Jesus who frees us for ourselves, our sin, and our ‘prisons’ of guilt and shame. It is He who helps us see the truth that we are loved and precious to God. It is Jesus who lifts us up when we’re down, who constantly watches over us and sustains us when we’ve got nothing left. This is the blessedness of Christmas.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could experience the blessedness of Christmas everyday of our lives? God thought so too. That is the true meaning of Christmas!
Written by Boudy van Noppen