Volume 7 No 5
Although the exact date of Jesus’ birth is unclear, obscured by the mists of time, Christmas is the time when Christians are reminded that God came down to us and took on our humanity so that we might become children of God.
As the scriptures states, “Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (John 1:12-13)
It is a time when many Christians reflect on the mystery and miracle of the incarnation. One of the all time favourite Carols sung in celebration of Christ’s incarnation is “Joy to the World”.
The lyrics remind us that earth should prepare for her King, and that each heart should prepare Him room. As Jesus predicted of Himself, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” (John 12:32).
In the book of Luke a devout old man called Simeon gives us further insights. The Holy Spirit had shown Simeon that he would not die before he had seen the Messiah. Simeon is led by the Holy Spirit into the temple courts just as Mary and Joseph enter with Jesus. Simeon took Jesus in his arms and praised God: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32).
Simeon praised God not just for the salvation of Israel, but also for the salvation of all peoples of all nations, who would believe in Him. Paul wrote: “For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross” (Colossians 1:19-20). Through the incarnation of Christ, salvation has now become available to the entire world.
Despite Israel failing to keep the covenant God made with them, and despite all the sins of the gentiles, through Jesus was accomplished everything necessary for the salvation of the world. And that is why the Christmas season is a time to celebrate God’s great gift to the world, His one and only Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And that is why we believe Face to Face should continue proclaiming the good news, which is God’s love poured out on an undeserving world.
May you have a meaningful and love filled festive season, and may 2016 be filled with His true blessings.
The disciples are discouraged — even dismayed. They thought they were following a Messiah into a glorious kingdom.
Three years ago I was in Harare, Zimbabwe to give some church presentations. After checking into my hotel I took an afternoon walk along the streets of the busy capital.
My friend Sydney loves fishing. He is not a fisherman, but goes fishing because he enjoys it.