credit: rebecca g whilst we were in wales.
I hope that under the circumstances I'll be forgiven this repost. The fact that Christmas is all about the gospel is more precious than ever. So here is my first {hopefully only} repost.

"Can't anybody tell me what Christmas really means?!"
"In the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. The angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!" ...The shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." They went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger...[they] returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen."
What an experiance that would have been. Imagine living in Old Testament Israel. Just another night caring for the village sheep. The usual companions, the same stars. Suddenly bright light fills the sky. Unearthly voices pour forth, singing about...the Messiah?! The promised one? He whom your grandparents spoke of? Imagine the shock of hearing that HE had arrived! You'd hardly expected it. After all, this Messiah had been "coming" for how long? Israel has been to Babylon and back. Yet he is real. And in Bethlehem, of all places! Dazed by wonder you follow your friends to town. Their excited chatter is lost in your swirling emotions. The angel's words shattered all your expectations. You never thought he'd come as a baby. You imagined a warrior, raising an army to destroy the Romans. Perhaps a great king, more powerful than Cesar. A hero who would bring fire from heaven to free his people. But a baby? Wonder of wonders... Your shock would be greater 33 years later. A grown man beaten, torn, and bloodied; hardly recognizable. Dying on a cross for your sins. Becoming the final atonement foreshadowed by the old testament sacrifices. Satisfying the Holy God's wrath against sin. And in the same act offering the greatest proof of this same God's mercy . How could you have known that this baby would destroy forever the veil before the "Holy of Holies"?
Linus had it right. "That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think I know what christmas means to me...Shoot! okay...Jesus is one of them and God. It means to me that God had a plan to create man, then the man would fall. Jesus was the way to get back up again. In Chosen By God... RC Sproul talks about the fallen man. "A Pre-fall man is Able to sin and not to sin. The Post-fall man is before you accept christ. he is able to sin, but unable to not sin. this means we are in trouble. but then we come to a reborn man. this is when he comes to know and accept Jesus Christ as Our Lord. He is again able to sin, but at this stage, he can be able tonot sin. Then, a Glorified man is in heaven. Able to not sin, and unable to sin. When we are in heaven... we are glorified. Anonymous Ben Swanson signing out...