A Christmas Story NEVER To Be Forgotten

Christmas is a precious time of the year, but, sometimes the hassle, the Christmas cards and the cooking can make it a burden as well as a joyous time. And the cliché "The reason for the season" gets lost in a welter of preparations, presents and posting. No doubt today the Internet will take over with video representations of idyllic winter scenes, Santa Claus, and mangers, but it seems as if the traditional Christmas cards are still being bought and sent.

Some Christians, however, do ignore, or play down Christmas. One reason is that the New Testament of the Bible does not tell us the exact time of Jesus’ birth, and the date the 25th of December was imposed on an ancient pagan holiday, Christianizing it.

Nevertheless, Jesus was born: the most important birth of all time. And Christians should celebrate it joyously as the beginning of completely new era that would affect world history.

The exact date is not important, the United Kingdom’s Queen Elisabeth was born in the month of February, but her official birthday is celebrated in June, when bad weather is a little less likely, and the Trooping of the Colour wouldn’t be spoilt.

As always with great Biblical events the birth of Jesus Christ was prophesied many centuries before it took place. The prophet Isaiah writing 600 year before said this -

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light, on those living in the shadow of death a light has dawned - - 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 Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government there will be no end - Isaiah 9: 2 with 6 & 7

You will notice that a child was born, but a son was given, because the Son is eternal together with the Father and the Holy Spirit - One God! This is the reason that one of his titles is "Everlasting Father". When one of Jesus’ disciples asked him -

"Lord show us the Father and that will be enough for us. Jesus answered, "Don’t you know me Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father - Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the father is in me?" - John 14: 8 & 9

In the conception, and the birth of Jesus Christ we see again the truth of God’s words -

"My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways", declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts" - Isaiah 55: 8 & 9

The pomp and ceremony, the pretentions and ambitions of this world are nothing in God’s eyes, even though he is interested and delighted in everything to do with those who truly love him.

So Jesus did not come as a glorious angelic being, he did not come like superman as a baby in a vehicle from outer space. No. he came in the most unexpected way, conceived as a human child in a virgin mother’s womb, intimately identify God with his creation.

He didn’t come to a palace, although he was a king, it didn’t come to a mansion, or even to an ordinary house, but to a stable behind an inn. There is his mother laid him on straw in the animals feeding trough (manger). His father was the village carpenter of Nazareth betrothed to a pious young virgin girl.

It is true that things are not always as they appear, because both his legal father Joseph and his mother Mary were descendants of King David so that the Scriptures should be fulfilled, that the Messiah (the Christ) should be of David’s line.

When the angel Gabriel appeared to the Mary it is no surprise when the Bible states that -

Mary was greatly troubled - but the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid Mary, you have found favour with God." - Luke 1: 29 & 30

To be suddenly confronted by a mighty angel must have been an awesome experience, and when Gabriel told her -

"You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus" -"How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "Since I am a virgin?"Then the angel said to her, "Nothing is impossible with God." Luke 1: 34 with 37

As Mary listened to the angel, her fear abated, her trembling ceased and, I believe, she stood tall, and when Gabriel was ready to depart she answered him with these immortal words -

"I am the Lord’s servant - may it be to me as you have said."Then the angel left her. Luke 1: 38

Are you ready this Christmas, and in the New Year, to make a commitment to the Lord as Mary did?

Jesus is looking for committed Christians, are you ready to become one? The true Christian life is not easy, it is a constant challenge, it is swimming against the tide, and it means going against many of the norms of people in the world. Nevertheless, it is the most wonderful and satisfying life possible and its goal is heaven and eternity with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

A very happy Christmas to all who read this message, and may 2014 turned out to be a blessed year for you.

God Bless You All!!!
Gordon Guillermo Burgess

Alicante Church Of The Good Shepherd