The Word of Christmas

Have you ever looked at how the story of Jesus is told in the Bible?  The writers of the Gospels all start their accounts differently.  Matthew starts with Jesus’ genealogy beginning with Abraham.  Mark just jumps into the story of Jesus’ ministry, starting with John the Baptist’s introducing Jesus.  Luke gives us the most details of the story of Jesus’ birth starting with the announcement of the coming birth of John the Baptist.

The Apostle John, however, begins his account in what might be an unexpected way to many.  He starts with Creation.  John’s Gospel reminds us that Jesus is the Divine Son of God who pre-existed his coming on that first Christmas.  He is the Divine “Word” of God who spoke the world into existence.  John appears to be speaking to the Greek audience in his time.  The Greek philosophers had postulated that life itself must have some underlying, foundational core of logic upon which the whole world rested.  They called this the “Logos” (that’s Greek for “word”).  John says that Jesus is that “Word.”  He is life itself.  He is the light of humanity.

John tells us of Jesus’ birth, but does so in one sentence:  “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14a).  That one statement says a lot!  John says that the pre-existent Son of God took on humanity.  He came to us in a human body and took up residence among us.  John identifies this God/man as Jesus, “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

This Christmas when you look at the manger scene, remember what you are seeing:  the Divine Word who spoke the world into existence has humbled Himself (cf. Phil. 2:5-11), taking on the form of a helpless baby, so that He can take away your sins!  Now that is truly a gift beyond compare!

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A Christmas Apart

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This Christmas many military families will have to deal with celebrating Christmas with a loved one deployed somewhere around the world. For many military families these holidays and family celebrations are very difficult. There seems to be a nagging sense that things aren’t quite as they should be with a family member gone. There is the ongoing worry about the safety of their family member who is in a war zone. There is sometimes even a sense of guilt if the holiday is enjoyed while their loved one is facing difficulties abroad. These families are sacrificing for our safety in ways that many of us will never fully understand.

This reminded me that the first Christmas marked the first time that God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son were separated in any way. At that point Jesus’ separation was due to his becoming a baby, becoming limited to communicating just through cries and babbling. His separation was due to his willing submission to our human limitations, our need to learn and grow. He surrendered the glories of heaven, yielded to necessary limitations on his divine powers, and even endured what was no doubt a drastic, but temporary change in His ability to communicate fully with the Father & Spirit as He grew from a baby to manhood.

The first Christmas brought about a great sacrifice for the Father, Son & Holy Spirit. Their “family circle” was drastically disrupted. But the disruption was temporary in order to bring about a greater benefit for the whole human race. So as we remember God’s “indescribable gift” this Christmas, let’s also remember the tremendous sacrifice it required. And, don’t forget, the many military families who are also sacrificing so that you can celebrate Christ’s birth while enjoying “peace on earth!”

Christmas and Waiting

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Do you remember Christmas when you were a child? Didn’t it seem like it would never come! We had to wait for what seemed like YEARS! We couldn’t wait for Christmas morning to arrive! In fact, I think I remember wanting to go to bed early on Christmas Eve so that Christmas morning would seem to arrive sooner! Well, no matter what we did to try to “hurry up” Christmas, it still came on the same day every year, just like the calendar said!

Paul said in Galatians 4:4, “But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son…” The first Christmas happened according to God’s schedule. He had a plan and a time-table for the plan. When the right time came, God sent His Son and the world was blessed!

 

Since our church is going through a relocation project, friends and acquaintances often ask me, “Well, do you have property yet?” And, to date, I have to say, “Not yet. But we’re still looking.” And we are looking! Since mid-July we have sent out over 1000 e-mails to real estate agents and have corresponded individually or talked with real estate agents 25 times. We have reviewed dozens of properties, it seems! At times like these, it is good to know that God has a plan and when the right time comes, God will work out His plan for us!

For what are you waiting? Are you waiting for a promise of God to be fulfilled? Are you ready for God’s plan to come to fruition? Are you waiting AND watching? When His time fully comes, God sends His answer! Don’t lose hope! You don’t want to miss out on His Gift!

Thank you for visiting FaithBuilders Podcast Blog site. Build your faith today by waiting on God!