At just the right moment, precisely as God had arranged it, and in keeping with a plan that He formed before the foundation of the world, the Messiah entered the scene of humanity.
The problem with an often-told story is trying to hear it the way it originally unfolded and affected people. The Christmas story is a prime example…familiar and predictable. But the events surrounding the birth of Jesus were anything but expected! So much so that most of the Jewish people who were eagerly waiting for their Messiah totally missed His arrival!
Insight for Living offers a number of helpful resources that can help you see the Christmas story from a fresh, new angle. See this wondrous event through the eyes of the ordinary, everyday people whom God chose to involve. You’ll come away with a better understanding of the original meaning behind it all and with a heart bursting with gratitude for the incarnation of the Son of God.
While much of the time our odd traditions don’t cause conflict, sometimes they do collide—especially when these traditions involve family or holidays. It’s in these times I’m learning we must fuse our traditions.
Christmas is a very stressful time. All the things we do leading up to, during, and following Christmas stress us. And as with most times of high stress there follows a time of backlash we refer to as the blues.
Probing Deeper into the Incarnation will remind you that before Mary placed baby Jesus in the manger, He existed in heaven with God the Father and God the Spirit. The Son of God became a man and gave up His own life out of His love for you—and to make it possible for you to love Him in return.
Just beneath the soft, newborn skin of this beautiful story is the flesh and bone of a theological truth that is older than creation: God planned to send a Saviour long before time began.
It's during Advent I’m reminded of the duality of waiting—remembering the Hebrews who waited eagerly for the birth of their Messiah, but also the waiting we endure for the second coming of Christ.
“Do not be afraid.” We see this phrase recur throughout the Christmas story and it’s easy to gloss over without fully comprehending it.
When a baby comes into our lives as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, or sisters, we rejoice in the magnificence of God’s gift of life. But how much more did the family rejoice in wonderment when the child was Emmanuel, God with us? When God took on human flesh at the birth of Jesus, He brought a wonder to the world that had yet to be seen.
When done well, one’s family becomes a sacred shelter of consistency and connection in a world of flux and change. At its best, home develops into the safe place where we can always go and be accepted for who we are.
Sometimes cast aside as a minor player in the retelling of the Christmas story, Joseph’s story mirrored that of his wife in many ways. He sat with her marvelling at this baby. He wondered about the baby’s origin. And yet, Joseph was forced to make a choice that not even Mary had to make. Where Mary carried the baby within her, Joseph had to choose to stay, to involve himself in the baby’s life.