Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Message For the Year

You may remember an earlier mention that for a number of years I've heard the Lord speak to me in the Christmas Season about one thing or another. Whether through a song, a character from the story of Christ's birth, art or scripture, I've always looked forward to hearing God impress upon my heart a lesson or concept that needed teaching or reinforcement.

Through several personal devotions, sermons and our Advent celebrations at home, I've been deeply struck by two things this year: 1) the prophesied, foretold coming of the Messiah and 2) the incarnation of that same One.

The prophecies of Jesus' coming point so distinctly and accurately to the baby born and laid in a manger. He was to be born in lowly circumstances, in Bethlehem Ephrathah (there were two Bethlehems at that time--he came to the right one), of a virgin, from the lineages of Judah and David. (And these are just a few of the prophecies.) A Messianic Rabbi I once met gave a listing of the significant prophecies he found fulfilled in Christ which ultimately led to his own salvation. He was a Jew in heritage, faith and birth, yet eventually recognized Yeshua (Jesus) as the fulfilled Promise of God. Expectations so often prevent us from seeing the signs that point to truth. It's been that way for centuries.

Secondly, Jesus was God, come to earth. He lived this human life thing. As Hebrews 4:15 says (paraphrased), we don't serve a God who doesn't know what it's like to be us. He has known our griefs and carried sorrows, too (Isaiah 53:4). He wept and laughed and hugged and bled. He was flesh and bone and heart and soul. He was God, with us.

Merry Christmas, my friends.

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