Christmas

Ah, here we are. In the hustle and bustle of the season and mostly just worried about getting our shopping done one time. Many people talk about the “reason for the season”, but it has become such a coin term that it really doesn’t seem to hit home anymore. So, I thought that I would share a little perspective on Christmas to help us reset.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” – Luke 2:8 -14

Seven hundred years before this text, Isaiah mentioned that a messiah would be born. I can imagine that by the time Jesus was born that many of the people of Israel had given up hope that their messiah would come. After all, they were taken into captivity and beaten down by the Egyptians, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, and at that time, the Romans were in town doing the same thing. Just when they had all but given up hope that God would save them and that God even remembered their existence, this message came to them: “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news . . . a savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” We all know the skepticism that came about among the Jews, but regardless, they finally had their Messiah!! This is the first part of what I think about Christmas – just when we are down and out and think that God has forgotten us and all hope is lost – He does something amazing and shows us that he will NEVER leave us or forsake us.

The other thing I think of is this: God doesn’t always provide in ways that we expect or want Him to – He always provides so much better and with so much more blessing than we could imagine in our limited human minds. We don’t always see it this way, but it is the ultimate truth that His will is so much better for us than our own. This is made obvious in the fact that the Jews were hoping for a messiah that was a powerful king who would basically beat back their oppressors and help them get their revenge making them a great power to be reckoned with. But this wasn’t what God had in mind. Instead he brought them a messiah that would do so much better. This was a messiah that would bring ETERNAL glory rather than one that temporarily beat the bad guys. This was a messiah that brought salvation for EVERYONE, not just the nation of Israel. This was a messiah that would allow the God’s people to be reconciled to Him permanently.

Sometimes the Christmas season can be stressful – I know it gets that way for me. When I get this way I always remember that God has a plan so much more grand and amazing than the simple one that I can conceive. Things won’t always be done the way I went them to be done. Instead they will be so much more redeeming and fulfilling than my own. About 2000 years ago, I think a young woman realized this when an angel appeared to her telling her that she would give birth to the Savior of the world.

B

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