Christmas Day Message 2020

What difference did the birth of the Christ Child make?  All the difference in the world!  His birth inaugurated a season—33 years as the doorstep to eternity–culminating in the Cross and victory over death, and the empty tomb to prove the Risen Christ was accepted by God as sufficient sacrifice for the sin of all mankind…eternally.

He is the “consolation of Israel” referred to in Luke 2:25.
He is Divine Intervention because only a miracle would do.

Eternally existing as God! The Word made flesh!

Luke 2:25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents (Joseph and Mary) brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: 29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”

The birth of Christ, the access given by Him for everyone from the lowest shepherds to the greatest among men, was not just for the Jews but for the redemption of an entire world involving many nations.  He is “a light for revelation to the Gentiles and the glory of your people Israel.”

Luke 2:33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him.

It was Scripture being fulfilled in their baby (See Isaiah 42:6 and 49:6).  But even then, Mary and Joseph would have viewed things through the lens of Scripture fulfillment and earthly power, not Divine will which was still a mystery.

Luke 2:34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

On eternity’s Time Magazine, Jesus would be on the cover every single year
as the Man of the Year. 
He upends human power structures,
clarifies what it meant to be an observant Jew,
experiences adoration and worship,
but He’s also a target for world’s hatred of everything God stands for. 

In His last days on earth, after His command to Love each other (John 15:17), Jesus said,

John 15:18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.

There’s a reason Jesus is still famous more than 2000 years after His birth.  It’s because of what comes next in that passage.

John 15: 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well.  24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father.  25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’  26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father– the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father– he will testify about me.  27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

Jesus’ birth launched a revolutionary movement called Christianity, the sign spoken against, just as Simeon predicted.  His birth began the testimony about forgiveness of sin—paid in full—not just mercy upon unforgiven sinners.  It inaugurated 33 pivotal years of Divine Intervention, God with us, Emmanuel!  It began the long march to the Cross that makes guilt for sin a reality…because forgiveness has been made available in Christ by Divine Intervention here too!  He is available to anyone.  Anyone.

What about you?  He came for you, too.  For this reason, I hope and pray your Merry Christmas will be rooted and grounded eternally in Christ whether COVID has kept you home, or you have experienced the freedom to worship by congregating with your church family. 

Even COVID can’t stop the Christ from coming.  Even death couldn’t kill Him forever.  Jesus came for You, lived to show You the Father and His love, and died so that You can be forgiven!  He rose from the dead and lives right now… so that in Him, you can live too.  Eternally. Indeed, the best Christmas gift ever!

Merry Christmas to you and yours!  In His love, Barbara

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on December 25, 2020

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