A Christmas Wish For All of You
Let me begin by wishing you all a lustrous and joyful Christmas. In all the advertising hustle and seasonal bustle of Christmas it is easy to get discouraged as the message of Christmas is lost somewhere between the electronic toys and AA batteries. And don't even get me started on whether or not this is the time of the year when Messiah was actually born. But let’s ignore all that and forget for a moment about politics, a $15 trillion deficit, and elections … and really think about late December and Christmas.
For over 700 years following the prophecy of Isaiah, history held its breath looking for that moment when the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would reveal his Redeemer. But as the centuries passed, many lost their expectancy and creation mused and dozed and expectancy turned to complacency and then to lethargy. Then, with the suddenness and explosion of lightening, all creation is awakened from its drowse and stirred to action as the trumpets of heaven herald the news that Providence has brought to confluence, prophecy, history and present reality in the hamlet of Bethlehem. Suddenly, the prophecy of Isaiah dances with life off the pages of holy writ.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of [his] government and peace [there shall be] no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. Isaiah 9: 6-7
With what splendor the prophet greets the heavenly infant, Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace; all of this for a baby – just a little baby - born into chill of Bethlehem’s night. But this is no ordinary baby – this is to be the peace child. This is the child born to bear the wrath of sin the penalty of eternal death for all mankind. This tiny baby nestled quietly to his mother in the stillness of the Bethlehem night was born — not for life and the dreams of happiness — but for sorrow and death that we might live in the light and have peace with the Father and be drawn heavenward. Isaiah saw and believed and shared his vision which was confirmed by the apostle Luke.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2: 10-11
The angels spoke of His majesty, sang of his glory, Isaiah called him the mighty God … and yet here He is – in a manger – in the dank and murk of a cold dugout in the darkness both physically and spiritually of a small town in Israel. He was born under the occupation of Rome. Born in bondage, to go to bondage and death that we might escape bondage and find life.
This peace child would never know peace. He was born to be the perfect sacrifice. For lo these many centuries the sacrifice of animals had continued as blood was shed for sin. But daily the sacrifices were repeated because the animals were an imperfect sacrifice unable to bear the perfect wrath of the Father toward sin. But this baby … this tender cooing bundle of life looking deeply and trustingly into His mother’s eyes will look yet again into his mother’s eyes as he hangs from the cross ... He, of paupers birth, shall bring an end to the enmity between God and man by becoming that perfect sacrifice who alone can bear the perfect wrath of the Father toward sin. He alone can bear the eternal death. He alone shall bear the separation from the father in hell’s eternity. All of that … in this wee babe whom shepherds praise, whose birth is marked by a great light in the sky as a multitude of heavenly hosts rejoice at His birth. Who is this child born of such mean circumstance that the very host of heaven are compelled with the joy of eternity to announce with angelic splendor, His coming … who is this child?
He is Christmas. He is the reason wise men followed a star to greet him with great treasures that according to some historians, were treasures that had been stored for centuries awaiting the birth of this prophesied child. He is The Savior – Yeshua, our Messiah.
So, this Christmas as you pass the manger scene, remember the rough wood … for he will both start and end this Christmas journey being held by rough wood. Picture the love and trust of an innocent child peering into the loving eyes of his mother but picture also the mournful scene as he looks one last time into his mother’s eyes before death overtakes this innocent babe of Bethlehem. Finally, picture the eternal joy of heaven, the warmth of the love of the Father toward us, His people, and picture all of this in the loving nestle of a babe in a rude manger in Bethlehem.
Maybe this year when we see that joyous scene our hearts will change and we will be different. Maybe this Christmas we can all look to have something new birthed in us. Maybe this year we can look deeply into the loving eyes of that beautiful baby in the manger and allow that love to melt away the coldness, the hardness, and the walls we’ve built there. Maybe this year the love and innocence of that Christmas night will so fill us, that everyone whose lives we even brush will be captivated by the love, peace and joy in our hearts that only the babe of Bethlehem can bring.
May you have a truly Merry Christmas – one filled to the overflowing with the eternal love of the Babe of Bethlehem.
To our Jewish friends, Happy Chanukkah!
Thank you Katie and Jake. God as a baby brought to Earth the gift of grace. Blessed Christmas for you and a phenomenal 2012.
Thank you for the post Katie. Merry Christmas to you, Jake, and family!
Thank you and back to you Jake and Katie. It is a wonderful message and I agree we need to stand down in honor of Christ's birthday. We need to be thankful for all he has given us. We need to count our blessings for all we have here on earth. I am enjoying Christmas more as the years go by. My children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren make it so. I would love to have the whole family together but it hasn't happened yet. My nomadic life since I left home at 17 leaves me with family coast to coast. I will enjoy those that are with me while my mind will travel the miles to the others. I love cooking and will be doing so Christmas eve. It is pure enjoyment and contentment to see everybody here and enjoying the fruits of my labor. Luckily, I am in San Diego where I can cook on the grill year round. I am blessed. It is also a time to reflect. I am a retired professional Marine and during times like this, I thank those who served before me, with me and after me. Their sacrifices were a part of all that has come to us here.
God bless you and yours.
And to you and yours.
Real nice post.
Merry Christmas to you you yours ,and May you all have a happy 2012
Thank you Katie and Jake and may you have a very Merry Christmad and a Happy New Year
Thank You Katie and may you and Jake and your family have a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year. Katie I added lots of pictures of some of my Maltese and Pomeranians on my page. The little one pictured here is Georgie, he was born missing 2 toes but he owns a little girl in Knoxville and he couldn't be happier. He gets around just fine.
Happy Chanukah to you Barry and to all who celebrate Chanukah and God Bless.