welcome to this christian website

ernest kitchenRev. E. Anderson

THE REAL BLESSING OF CHRISTMAS

Reading Luke 2: 8-20

Introduction

WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE: To those involved in the first Christmas, it must have been quite a wonderful and memorable experience, especially for the wise men and the shepherds. From a natural viewpoint, it may not have been so wonderful for Joseph and Mary on a tiresome journey and frustrating arrival in Bethlehem. However, as events turn out, they must have been somewhat pleasantly surprised by the advent of the Magi and their gifts, and the appearance of the shepherds. The night’s proceedings had certainly turned things around and heaven bore witness to the advent of this extraordinary babe.
REAL BLESSING OF CHRIST: Of course, the real blessing of Christ is wrapped up the birth of this unique baby that was to make an enormous difference to human history and to mankind. His arrival and subsequent life and ministry was and is divinely intended to impact every human being on planet earth. Everyone should come to know and appreciate the real blessing of Christmas.
IT IS OF A SPIRITUAL AND ETERNAL ORDER: Most folk get the idea that it is the season of good will and the bestowment of gifts of one sort of another which evidences of love and generosity. The inspiration, expression and sentiment actually originates from God the Father, who from eternity chose to express His supreme kindness and generosity to all men by giving them greatest gift that could ever be given – John 3: 16. God’s does focus attention and emphasis upon the love-gilt of His one and only Son for the blessedness of the human race. By and through Him He was to bless and enrich all people and nations.
In analysing what is embodied in the real blessing of Christmas, there are a number of things to be considered of worth.

1/. IT IS TO BE KNOWN AS THE RATIFICATION OF GOD’S PROMISE

The Bible is to be understood in this particular aspect: it is a Book of Divine Promise to all mankind. God is to be seen as a God who makes unique guarantees to mankind of a special nature and the Bible has to be read, understood from this particular angle.

It is divided into two sections known as the Old and New Testaments —Covenants. The first embraces, in the main, God’s special assurances to a man named Abraham, of what He purposed to bring about through Him and the special race created through him, Israel. The first agreement reveals God keeping His word to this people in an extraordinary manner and measure. He promised the nation a tremendous future and destiny among the nations and its history proves how reliable God was to His spoken word. But in their history, He makes known that they were but the start and foundation of something bigger. He reveals that a Messiah would be born that would not only be to their blessedness but also to the whole, wide-world. The reason for singling them out as a distinct people was that He might reach all the peoples on planet earth. An individual would come that would be different to all other mortals and He would bring about a radical change that would bless all men. Isaiah gives forecast of this in his day – Isaiah 9: 6, 7. Micah even gives distinct knowledge of where He would be born – Micah 5:2.

The actual birth of Christ at that time was expected by the Jews and His due arrival is confirmation that the prophets did not speak in vain. They proved that God was no liar and could be trusted to bring His word to pass at the right time and place and by the right means. The real blessing of Christmas is that God can be trusted to keep His word in spite of the passage of time and circumstances.

2/. IT IS TO BE KNOWN AS THE REVELATION OF GOD’S PERSON

The promise is bound up in the advent of an exceptional and incomparable gift, the blessing of a divine person of I excellent quality and ability that would be revealed in course of time. If ever the statement is true about ‘one person making a difference’ this is undoubtedly true with respect to Jesus Christ.

There is a word that is used by Christians in this connection which is rather unique and is associated seemingly with Christianity in particular. It is the word ‘incarnation’ which means a coming into flesh, into a human form and body, and this was to be supremely so with regard to Jesus Christ.

Before Christ was born He had pre-existence and it was and is of an eternal order and character. His birth was simply His human beginning because He existed before His first, natural breath. The incarnation is regarded both as a miracle and mystery. He who was the Son of God vacated that form and took hold of the seed of man and became a man. He was a person with two natures: divine and human. He was rightly titled Son of God and Son of Man.

He is rightly termed the God-Man. John was absolutely sure of His identity – John 1: 14. It is a real blessing to know that Christ is from all eternity and is in the know about all things. But He came with this objective, to give a perfect and absolute disclosure of God to man so that man would be without excuse. John is clear is his confession: “No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared (brought out to view) Him” — John 1: 18. In the life and ministry of Jesus Christ we see the visible demonstration of God so no man can plead excuse. John’s Gospel especially is all about God being manifest and at work through Jesus Christ. So the real blessing of Christmas is that God has come to be one with us and to reveal His love and glory in a magnificent manner. When you have a meeting with Christ you have a meeting with God,

Illustration:
MAKE ME LIKE JOE!
Tony Compolo
Joe was a drunk who was miraculously converted at a Bowery mission. Prior to his conversion, he had gained tile reputation of being a dirty wino for whom there was no hope, only a miserable existence in the ghetto. But conversion to a new life with God, everything following his changed. Joe became the most caring person that anyone associated with the mission had ever known. Joe spent his days and nights hanging out at tile mission, doing whatever needed to be done. There was never anything that he was asked to do that he considered beneath him. Better it was cleaning up tile vomit left by some violently sick alcoholic or scrubbing toilets after careless men left the room filthy. Joe did what was asked with a smile on his face and a seeming gratitude for the chance to help. He could be counted on to feed feeble men who wandered off the street and into the mission, and to undress and tuck into bed men who were too out of it to take care of themselves.

One evening, when the director of the mission was delivering his evangelistic message to the usual crowd of still and sullen men with drooped heads, there was one man who looked up, came down the aisle to tile altar, and knelt to pray, crying out for God to help him to change. The repentant drunk kept shouting, ‘Oh God! Make me like Joel Make me like Joel Make me like Joe! Make me like Joel“

The director of the mission leaned over and said to the man, “Son, I think it would be better if you prayed, make me like Jesus.”

The man looked up at the director with a quizzical expression on his face and asked, “Is he like Joe?“

3/. IT IS TO BE KNOWN AS THE REALISATION OF GOD’S PROGRAM

The advent of this baby was but the start of an exciting, adventurous program for Christ in the ensuing years. He had a task to perform and destiny to fulfil that was extraordinary, unusual and astonishing. People were to discover that He was certainly different, especially those who got into a close and personal relationship with Him.

If Christmas was to be amazing, what was to follow was to be more astounding. His coming was the writings focus on the last week and hours of His life. He made it clear that this was His life’s work and mission – Mark 10:45; Matthew 20: 28. The Cross is a central fact in Christianity and is revealed to be the place where the greatest blessing flows to man when once there is a belief and acceptance of what Christ wrought there. He is in the glorious situation of being and becoming man’s Lord and King. It was said regarding His birth that it was the birth of a king — Matthew 2:2. He certainly was of the natural, kingly line – Matthew 1. But He is more than the king of the Jews; He has been raised from the dead in order to be King of kings, an Lord of lords. When Christ enters a person’s life it is to be the King and Lord of life. The real blessing of Christmas is that it offers the blessing of living under His rule.

4/. IT IS TO BE KNOWN AS THE RECOGNITION OF GOD’S PURPOSE

The real blessing of Christmas lies way ahead into the future beyond and is to be recognised in God’s great purpose which is all joined together. The things that Christmas sought to make known and introduce are to be
grasped and valued.

His supernatural birth is but the forerunner of countless spiritual and supernatural births. He came to make men into the sons of God and adopt them into the royal household of heaven – John 1: 11, 12. God is making a new family in and through Christ. He now becomes incarnated in those who believe and receive Him and so real Christmas festivity begins. The best and great thing is: He is not in a manger but in our hearts.

The wonderful purpose is that God should now be the Father of all who are divinely renewed and regenerated by Christ through the Holy Spirit. The Fatherhood of God emerges out of Christmas. Who needs a Santa Claus when you can have an eternal, beneficent Father! It was God the Father who gave His Son that we might become His sons and enjoy our son-ship and relationship with Him.

The real blessing of Christmas is that it is to open eternity and heaven to all who embrace the Christ of Christmas. Christmas is the gateway to the eternal world where in the “ages to come, He might show the exceeding riches of His grace”—- Ephesians 2: 7; 1 Corinthians 2: 9.

CONCLUSION

God desires that those who know and love Him enjoy the reality of Christmas in a greater way by seeing that:
• As God in Christ, He still keeps true to His Word of Promise – 2 Corinthians 1:20
• As God in Christ, He still will to reveal Himself in a greater manner and this possible through the Holy Spirit ~ John 16: 13-15
• As God in Christ, He still desires to extend and deepen His Friendship, Saviourhood and Lordship.

path

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: