This weekend our family and friends are celebrating far more than seasonal holidays or winter break. Our hearts sing, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come…” We gladly receive the King and our hearts have gladly prepared room for this love gift from God. No apology for our devotion because, “He first loved us.” Imagine such royalty as a newborn baby lying in a manger, wrapped in modest rags as all heaven looked on rejoicing. Perfect love was born in a lowly stable because there was no room in the inn. “The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.” What a picture!
This wonderful love gift not only humbled Himself in pauper’s birth, but also humbled Himself unto death on the criminal’s cross, so we could not only witness the redemptive work of perfect love, but experience it and continually express it in our daily lives. “Oh what love that He would die for me!” The songs, choruses, and hymns echo the story of this love expressed through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
While a world trapped in darkness and deception assaults not only the mention of Christmas holidays and the simple greeting “Merry Christmas,” the truth is we are witnessing far more than an attack on a Christian celebration. This is part of a fierce assault on God Himself and especially Jesus Christ by those who want to replace Divine Providence with secular progressivism. When the Christ who came to set captives free is left out, defeat, bondage, and poverty prevails both physically and spiritually. My dear friends, please join with believers loving and reaching out to those who have chosen to be enemies of Christ and the cross, but do not bow down before them or give in to their attacks on faith, family, and freedom. The Bible declares that faith, freedom, fullness, blessings, compassion, and courage all depend upon the power of God’s perfect gift which we celebrate this weekend. All things, including faith, work by love. The love God has given us in Christ is to be shared faithfully and consistently through us every day of the year.
As you rejoice in this matchless gift of love, I pray you will have special time with family and friends this weekend honoring our Lord. I pray comfort for all who reflect on loved ones who are no longer with us, but forever with Him.
The Mystery of the Incarnation: A Scriptural Tapestry of Jesus as Man and God by Gregory of Nazianzus
“He was baptized as man, but He destroyed sins as God; He himself was not in need of purifying rites, but He was baptized… He was tempted as man, but He conquered as God; He encouraged us to be courageous, since He had conquered the world. He was hungry, but He fed thousands; He is indeed life-giving heavenly bread. He was thirsty, but He shouted, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink freely”; He also promised that those who believe would gush forth with water. He was tired, but for those who are tired and heavy laden He is rest. He was heavy with sleep, but He is light upon the sea; He even rebukes winds; He makes Peter light when he is sinking. He pays tax, but He does so from a fish; He is even king of those demanding the tax. He hears himself called a Samaritan and demon-possessed, but He saves the one who went down from Jerusalem and fell among robbers; He is recognized by demons and drives out demons, and He sinks a legion of spirits and witnessed the ruler of demons falling like lightning. He is stoned, but He is not caught. He prays, and He answers prayers. He weeps, but He causes tears to cease. He asks where Lazarus is laid, for He was man, but He raises Lazarus, for He was God. He is sold, and very cheaply, for it was for thirty silver coins, but He buys back the world, and it was for a great price, for it was for His own blood. He was led as a sheep to slaughter, but He shepherds Israel, and now, indeed, the whole inhabited world. He is silent like a lamb, but He is the Word, being proclaimed by a voice of one shouting in the desert. He has been weakened, wounded, but He heals every disease and every infirmity. He is lifted up upon the tree, He is fixed to it, but He restores by the tree of life; He saves a robber crucified with Him; He darkens everything that is seen. He is given cheap wine to drink, He is fed bile. Who? The One who changed the water into wine, the destroyer of the bitter taste, the One who is sweetness and fulfills all desires. He hands over His life, but He has authority to take it again; the curtain is torn apart and the things above are revealed, rocks are split; the dead are raised beforehand. He dies, but He makes alive, and by death He destroys death. He is buried, but He rises. He goes down into Hades, but He brings up souls; He goes up into heaven; but He will come to judge the living and the dead…”
Let us rejoice together thanking God for His perfect and matchless gift! Happy Birthday, Jesus, and may each of you have a Christ-exalting Christmas!