"From two momentous events, the birth and death of Jesus, God says to us,
I LOVE YOU."
I attended a Christmas Eve service tonight and still feel the warm glow of honoring the birth of Jesus. You realize as you sing the words to the familiar Christmas carols that Jesus is the reason and the heart of everything we do at Christmas - even when we aren't conscious of that fact.
It always thrills me to think that over 2,000 years ago, a baby was born in Bethlehem and He continues to set much of the world ablaze every year. Jesus is 'the light', so guess it's not surprising that we happily string lights all over our homes and neighborhood.
This miraculous birth should not have been a big surprise, and yet it was to most. In Isaiah 9:6, we read
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and he government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Micah wrote 500 years before this prophesy came true, Micah 5:2,
"But you Bethlehem though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times."
Micah was speaking of the Messiah, Jesus who existed from the beginning as recorded by John in chapter one. Isaiah also wrote -
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel.
And it happened as Matthew said in 1:23
"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel which means,"God with us."
Jesus is God and He is with us today, everyday in fact! He is a Living Savior who empowers us with His Holy Spirit. We who know Him are the sheep of His pasture and not one of us will ever be 'lost'. His overwhelming love for us is something we'll never be able to understand this side of heaven.
Our Pastor mentioned a profound truth tonight. The New Testament of the Bible is hidden in the Old Testament. And, the Old Testament is revealed in the New Testament. The Bible tells one cohesive story, one that permeates all of creation. God is an author outside of time, He knows the beginning and the end.
"He came not to a throne,
but to a manger.
He lived not as a king,
but as a servant.
Her chose not a kingdom,
but a cross.
He gave not just a little,
Jesus was a different kind of King; He died for his people. Other Kings have their people die for them! I pray that you understand Who we celebrate this time of year. I wish you many blessings as you gather with friends and family and that you'll be able to share often and with certainty that Jesus is our Lord and Savior.
Thank you Lord for the beautiful story you've given us. Empower us to shout it from the roof tops and never cease praising your Holy Name.