We now begin the second phase of our safari through Scripture. Our desire is to see all 27 books as a whole—to see how they fit together, how they relate to us, and the value of each section to the person who reads and believes the Bible. Of special interest is the “flow” of thought carried through these books and letters of the New Testament.
Dr. Luke, Paul’s travelling companion, was probably the only Gentile writer of any part of the New Testament. His Gospel focuses on providing a complete account of the life of Jesus. Certainly, none of the other three evangelists gave us a more detailed or descriptive analysis of the Saviour’s birth, childhood, and manhood.
Zacharias, Mary, Joseph, and Herod all heard God’s message. So what accounted for their different reactions? Zacharias doubted, Mary and Joseph believed, and Herod rejected the message. And each of their responses had significant results.
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.
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.
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.
At Christmas, it’s easy to get distracted by the food and traditions and decorations and lose sight of the reason for our celebration. Chuck Swindoll encourages us to slow down and reflect on the wonder of the very first Christmas.
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.
The first Christmas was simple, not a lavish event. Jesus’ birth remains the purest and most beautiful story in all of history.