And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus. He will be great and called Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
“I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like the son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him; His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.”
“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 forever more. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will do this.”
Merry Christmas to you all! This is a special year in that Christmas morning falls on a Sunday morning! A special time to gather and worship Jesus our Lord. Let us be reminded that Christmas is about the incarnation of Jesus Christ and the inauguration of the coming of the Kingdom of God. These are important Christian realities that we need to understand. Incarnation means “in flesh.” At Christmas we don’t celebrate the beginning of Jesus Christ, but Jesus Christ, the Son of God, humbling Himself and being born as a baby. The prophet Isaiah proclaims this coming of Jesus with the name Immanuel, meaning “God with us.” Jesus Christ is the eternally existing second person of the trinity. He does not begin with His divine conception in Mary. By His mercy, great love, and according to the determined will of God the Father, Jesus is born in flesh to live amongst us and begin His Kingdom that will never end.
The Christmas season is accompanied in America by wonderful family gatherings, feasting, lights, and gift-giving, but we must strive to keep our focus on Jesus. As Christians, we must press to keep our focus on the glorious salvation by grace alone that Jesus accomplished for us on the cross. Jesus must never be reduced to one of the pantheons of Christmas season characters, but ever be exalted in our hearts as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We must see the Immanuel – God with us – as the fulfillment of the promise of God to send His Son as the Savior of the world. It is Jesus who has begun a work that will never end.
People often struggle with the sin, death, brokenness, and corruption of this world. It is through the salvation of Jesus that people are being saved out of this world. It is through the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit that new birth comes to our hearts, and we are made new passing from death to life. It is this salvation that began to be accomplished when Jesus was born into this world. This salvation was announced by angels at its beginning and at its completion. A salvation that proclaims Jesus as King. He who was born into complete humility is now exalted in glory! His name is great and the work He has begun with His first coming, He will certainly complete in His second coming.
This Christmas exalt Jesus to the first and highest place in in your heart. He is a merciful Savior and a mighty King. He is a Wonderful Counselor, and He is coming on the clouds to call His people to Himself. Make this a practical reality by leading in prayer at family gatherings, read scripture at family gatherings, and be a spiritual leader by piling the family in the car and joining others to worship Jesus our Savior on this Christmas morning!
May joy, peace, and hope overflow in your home this Christmas,