Unto Us A Child Is Born

(Isaiah 9:6, John 3:16)

During this Christmas season, I have been thinking much about the Lord’s coming.  The Lord has come, beginning as an infant.  His Spirit was always present in some remnant of mankind.  His Spirit has been brooding and striving.  As it is written, in the fulness of time, God sent His Son.  God knew the right time, the precise moment to have His Son come to the earth.  He was sent and given.  He was vulnerable.  He was unprotected yet stewarded by Mary and Joseph.  Some writings comment on His early years but those were omitted as not being fully reliable.  We are encouraged and taught to avoid controversies.  Most important, and we might say only important, is that Christ be at home in our hearts through faith.

We must receive Him.  He alone is Savior.  We in the church, have learned, and are still learning this must be a reality not some doctrinal position.  We find those outside of the “church” who own more godliness than some of those taking seats among our love-feasts.  Consider again the Roman centurion who recognized His great authority, the Syrophoenician woman, the Samaritan woman at the well, and the Gadarene demoniac.  These were not seen as Israel but became true people of faith.  Heart circumcision is God’s only way.  And it is dependable.  His word, and the work it does, is never void or unfruitful.  Unless we resist it.  Open our eyes and hearts Lord.

The incarnation of the Son as Jesus is one of the greatest miracles in all of the history of the world.  Before the foundation of the earth, the Lamb, the Son, was slain.  This was in the mind and purpose of our eternal Father.  The time came for this to show up in the earth.  His birth was timely and the same is true for His death.  At the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  I recently saw an endorsement for one of the movies depicting the life of Christ.  Most of them have a value.  The corrupted and irreverent depictions aside, I consider one of the most valuable to be The Passion of the Christ.  It is very hard for some us with tender and sensitive souls to watch it.  The crucifixion was violent and horrible.  Jesus Christ was totally disfigured.  And in reality He was naked on the cross.  He was put to total shame.  I think it to be the most violent act in all of human history.

The apostle Paul writes He became sin for us.  In Him, God condemned and put to death sin in the flesh.  That is the finished work.  Will we allow it to be worked out in us?  It was worked out in the 12 who followed Him closely, except for Judas.  He was lost as Jesus acknowledged in John 17.  Yet after His resurrection, 500 saw Him alive.  The Lord God ensured a testimony of direct witnesses.  And 120 were kept in an expectant atmosphere, not unlike what happened to Mary by the Spirit.  She was in that upper room among those waiting for a promise that came and was formed in them all.  Something changed as He who had become a life-giving Spirit poured out and fulfilling the promise spoken by the prophets.  See Joel 2.

Are we open to His brooding, transforming power and ability today?  He has no new means.  Much is new to us, every day.  To Him, the Living God, He saw it all before time began.  Our understanding fails us at every turn but our spirits are strengthened.  It is for us to submit to His working as did Mary.  For me, these are not mere stories recorded in the gospels.  They are historical records of heavenly encounters.  Forget our foolish science fictions of aliens.  The angel Gabriel came to Mary and her words ring for all of us.  Be it to each of us just as God says.  He will speak to you.  This he says to us all.  Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Repent, turn to God, and believe the good news that a Savior has come and wants to know you as you know Him.  He came as Jesus of Nazareth and now sits in God’s presence with all authority.  Receive Him, more of Him than your mind can fathom.  He is awesome, wonderful, beautiful, and so glorious, it will humble you and lift you up.  May we have ears to hear and listen and receive all He would say to us today.