Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The Celebration of Christmas

Luke 2:9-10 - "And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;"

December has arrived and the Christmas Season is upon us. The celebration of the birth of Christ is all around us, even in the midst of our secular observance of the holiday. The question is, what is the proper response to the birth of Christ? Some choose to ignore His birth. They have no place for Him in the world they have fashioned around themselves. For others, there is much greater hostility. They cannot tolerate Him because He is too threatening. There were many of these during the brief life of Jesus upon the earth. There was king Herod who saw Jesus as a threat to his reign. He sought to destroy King Jesus in order to maintain his own position. The Pharisees also wanted to destroy Him because they too were threatened by His authority. Then there was the mixed multitude who could only shout, “Away with Him! Crucify Him!”

But what is the proper response to the birth of Christ? Jesus was born in a manger, in a most meager condition. His birth was first announced to the shepherds, who were in the field watching over their flock. When the angels appeared to them they were terrified, frightened to the core.

The angel comforted them and encouraged them not to be afraid. Immediately the shepherds made haste and came to Bethlehem to see the Christ child. What did they see? Was it merely a baby laying in a feed trough? What they saw was the eternal Son of God. They believed the words of the angel. They saw far more than a human baby. “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). They saw the Savior of God’s people.

What we read next is the proper response to the birth of Christ— "The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen” (Luke 2:20). They knew they had witnessed the extraordinary. They had seen the Savior. Their response was the only proper response. They returned believing, and rejoicing, praising, and glorifying God for the wonder of His excellent gift. And then they went sharing the good news with others.

May God fill our hearts with wonder and awe as we celebrate this wondrous season. God has shed His love upon us in sending forth His Son that we might be reconciled and adopted as His own children

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