Christmas Celebrates Christ

As the year 2023 moves towards an end, I’m reminded of the preciousness of time, of relationships, and even of life itself, but most of all, of the mountainous value and worth of the Lord our God. The Psalmist puts it this way; Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise! No one can measure His greatness (Psalm 145:3). Mankind’s combined technical advancements cannot recognise or calculate the infinite glory and worth of our Creator God.

The glorious Lord Jesus Christ who was transfigured… and His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light (Matthew 17:2) is the same whom Mary gave birth to, her firstborn son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn (Luke 2:7). What a humbling welcome to this world. Yet, this world would never succeed in stripping Jesus of His glory, no matter what they did to Him.

Baby Jesus was God wrapped in soft human flesh. Reduced from the splendour and authority of heaven to vulnerability and physical needs, lying in an animal feeding trough which we call a manger. Talk about taking a demotion! Yet, this baby had destiny that nobody at the time could predict. Destiny that would lead Him through a life of absolute humility. Through every moment of this growing baby’s life He emptied himself, by taking the form of a slave, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:7-8).

For us, looking back through the blur of censored modern history, it’s easy to lose focus on Jesus’ identity. It’s easy to get caught up in the self-seeking glamour of modern celebrations and totally forget that Christmas is about exulting Jesus Christ.

I invite you to take a little time to read about this once-in-eternity event. Create time to read Dr Luke’s account in Luke 1:26-56; 2:1-21. Break it into sections if needed. Read it with someone for double blessing. And at every point where you identify a significant truth about God, about Jesus, or about the Holy Spirit, pause momentarily and give thanks to our loving God. I’m sure that this never-to-be repeated series of events is scribed in the annals of heaven as the Son of God’s most demeaning yet glorifying act.

May we remember that this baby was born a Jew, the prophesied child leading to fulfillment of Old Testament covenants. Again, Dr Luke nailed it, for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11). Years later Nathanael emphatically testified to Jesus’ face, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” (John 1:49).

Today, we honour Jesus Christ by both looking back and forward at Christmas time. We look to that time as the apostle John foresaw, when the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15). So, when we think of baby Jesus, we also think of Him as King Jesus, and we say, “Come Lord Jesus and Reign!” It is this promised future reign of King Jesus that fills Christmas with anticipation for us.

As is my custom, I’m laying down my pen for a few weeks, but this time I’m preparing for my much anticipated spine surgery next week. Lord willing, I will lift my pen again, and join with you in February 2024. I pray you all have a blessed and enjoyable time with those you love over the holiday period.

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