Timeless Power of Christmas (Advent 14, 2016)

One of the surest ways to recapture the wonder, the timeless wonder, of the Christmas story is to recall what actually happened from the perspective of power. Until the birth of Christ, Death held the knife at our necks for every man, woman, and child. It was always there, all the time. Lurking in the background. Waiting for the next kill.

Death was in the power position and no one had the power to escape it.

Then the Savior was born, bringing eternal life as the Son of God and Son of Man. In Him was life” (John 1:4).

It was God’s power play and the Timeless hope for all humanity.

Isaiah 9: 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

Why is it so hard to experience the wonder?

Perhaps it’s because in our youth-driven world, we go through our days denying the reality of death. We know it happens…to other people.  In other places.  All the time.  Most of us though, remain untouched by it for the vast majority of our days.  The truest horror of the magnitude of death is something many of us have been graciously spared from witnessing.  We have a hard time relating to scenes from Aleppo or Mosul or seeing with wonder, that the Gospel still offers real hope to those very places.  Indeed, there are people in Syria and Iraq and refugees in Germany discovering the hope of the Gospel and the reassurance that nothing can separate them from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:31-39). 

To the soldier who prays through each verse of In Christ Alone (Townend/Getty), knowing the assurance and reality of God’s power–this is what gets him through the stresses of war, of seeing his fellow soldiers die, and be permanently wounded.  Stuart Townend was interviewed about his song In Christ Alone,

“It seems like this song is timely,” Townend says. “We in the West have had our sense of safety and security brutally torn apart by recent world events, and it’s caused many to re-evaluate the foundations of their life. I feel that the song has helped to stir faith in many believers that God really is our protector; that our lives are in His unshakable hands.”

For reflection today, read the lyrics of In Christ Alone and identify how Christmas was God’s Power Play over death.

  • In Christ alone my hope is found,
  • He is my light, my strength, my song
  • This Cornerstone, this solid Ground
  • Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
    • What heights of love, what depths of peace
    • When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
    • My Comforter, my All in All
    • Here in the love of Christ I stand
  • In Christ alone! – who took on flesh,
  • Fullness of God in helpless babe.
  • This gift of love and righteousness,
  • Scorned by the ones He came to save
    • Till on that cross as Jesus died,
    • The wrath of God was satisfied
    • For every sin on Him was laid
    • Here in the death of Christ I live.
  • There in the ground His body lay,
  • Light of the world by darkness slain:
  • Then bursting forth in glorious day
  • Up from the grave He rose again
    • And as He stands in victory
    • Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me,
    • For I am His and He is mine
    • Bought with the precious blood of Christ
  • No guilt in life, no fear in death,
  • This is the power of Christ in me
  • From life’s first cry to final breath,
  • Jesus commands my destiny
    • No power of hell, no scheme of man,
    • Can ever pluck me from His hand
    • Till He returns or calls me home
    • Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand

(Stuart Townend, Keith Getty)

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on December 9, 2016

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