So why does Christmas matter?
Scripture: Isaiah 9:6-7 – Prophecy of the Birth of Christ
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.
Luke 2: 1-21 The Birth of Jesus
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. This was the first census that took place whilea Quirinius was governor of Syria.) and everyone went to their own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.
Revelations 22:6-17, 20 Invitation
The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.”
“Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.”
I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!”
Then he told me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, because the time is near. Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.”
“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
“Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
If the scripture is true – then what does it mean to each of us?
Succinctly put, Jesus is God in human form sent to conquer death through his willingness to die on the cross as the final sacrifice for sin. God accepted Christ’s death as the final sacrifice for all sin, past, present and future. Once this was accomplished, God through the Holy Spirit raised Jesus from death to eternal life with God providing a way for each of us to also join Jesus for eternal life. “The Way” is by believing and accepting this gift of the “good news”.
God accomplished this. He told us about it. The Holy Spirit was sent to us to help us on our journey to belief in Christ. God formed the Church Universal as His vehicle to call His people to Him. It’s purpose is not as a social organization but as a vehicle to battle unbelief. Our unbelief is a stumbling block for living the life God destined us to live for His Glory.
As we approach the new year, let us ask God to search our souls and rid us of our unbelief in whatever area it is rearing its ugly head – whether it be in an illness, a financial crisis, an employment situation, the unbelief of a loved one, the waywardness of a child, the brokenness of your family, the death of a loved one or a tragedy that has left you reeling. Let us ask our Mighty God into these situations to shed light and wisdom – to give us hope and strength to hold our heads up and to bask in the light of His glory for one more day.
Remember, eternity meets us in this moment. So come and take the free gift of the water of life.