Charis (χάρις) is the Greek word for ‘grace’ or ‘favour’ — and Christmas is about God’s favour that every person can have! Thus, Christmas should be an exciting and joyous time of year.

So, here are 3 times that Luke shows you this in ‘the Christmas story’ —

1) Luke 1:25: Elizabeth was unable to have children and that was embarrassing and shameful back there and then. But, God enabled her to give birth to John the Baptist. So, in 1:25 she says: “In these days the Lord has shown his favour and taken away my disgrace among the people”. God was kind to a godly old woman (1:5-7), giving her a child, way past when she hoped to have any child, and a child who would be a relative of the Messiah (as Elizabeth was biologically related to Jesus; 1:36), and most importantly, Elizabeth’s child would be the forerunner of the Messiah! So, what grace and favour God showed Elizabeth!

2) Luke 1:28 & 30: The angel Gabriel says to Mary, “Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you” (v28) and “… you have found favour with God.” (v30) God’s grace to Mary is that the son she will bear will be the Messiah, God’s Son, who will be God’s ‘forever king’. (v32-33) This was an immense privilege God kindly gave to a teenage girl from rural Galilee!

3) Luke 2:14: the angelic host that appears to the shepherds says, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.” To those whom God gives favour, grace, they have peace i.e. a harmonious relationship with God, the ‘shalom’ of the Old Testament. Notice the three pairs in verse 14: glory-peace, heaven-earth, God-people. God is praised in heaven by the angels for his salvation by Christ, and that salvation gives shalom to every single person whom God is gracious to. So, what a wonderful thing it is to receive God’s generous rescue by His Son! Therefore, this Christmas, you and I should be thankfully praising God, like Elizabeth, like Mary, and like the angels. I hope that you have much Christmas Charis!