“Do not be afraid.” We see this phrase recur throughout the Christmas story and it’s easy to gloss over without fully comprehending it.
The more I think about angels the more I notice how casually we refer to them. As if angels are sweet little pets or something.
What do you expect from Christmas? I don’t mean what presents do you expect, but what do you expect from the whole experience we have come to call Christmas?
Very few people cared about the tiny town of Bethlehem—much less the birth of a Jewish infant named Jesus. However, God saw things differently. This small baby would one day die on a cross for the sins of all humankind. So God inspired a physician named Luke to record the facts about Jesus' birth and His purposes for coming to earth.
Boredom is the real danger we face when we approach the Christmas story. It’s so familiar, our minds just hit the highlights, because we think we’ve already plumbed the depths of every detail. But if we could approach the nativity as if we’ve never read it before, we’d discover something new and exciting—we’d discover the birth of Jesus is a gift too wonderful for words.
Christ didn’t arrive with the flare of trumpets or with flags flying. He didn’t demand an announcement for whole the world to hear, though He deserved it. Jesus just walked in. Take some time to reflect on the nature of Jesus Christ’s Incarnation—born to peasant a girl in a smelly barn in an obscure town and worshipped by a few people. This humble story reveals the character of our Messiah, who humbled Himself to save the people He loved.
The first Christmas was simple, not a lavish event. Jesus’ birth remains the purest and most beautiful story in all of history.
Through the months leading to Christmas we are busily about our stuff—doing business, travelling, and engaged in the give and take of life. And then Christmas hits and the zoom lenses of our minds focus on the outstretched arms of the One who saved us.
You will be irresistibly moved to worship and wonder as you listen to Fullness of Grace, featuring the incredible choir and orchestra of Stonebriar Community Church with guest soloists and Chuck Swindoll’s message, “It’s Christmas…So?” Sing along with the Christ-centred hymns. Reflect on the humble beginnings of our Saviour. And rejoice that the Son of God is also Immanuel—the greatest gift we could hope for.
Hopefully we leave the event with a renewed sense of wonder, overwhelmed by the magnificence of what unfolded in Bethlehem long ago. Imagine…