As we head into the festive season this year things feels a little different than usual. We all have had a very strange year and even now so close to the Christmas holidays everything still feels very unsure.
Nevertheless, our families and friends, are a special part of our celebrations at this time of year. We look forward to gathering together to catch up with those we don’t see often (now more than ever). We enjoy our time together and look forward to giving and receiving gifts.
It’s a time when we can all get caught up in the excitement of the season and lose ourselves in the festivity of it all. Our supermarkets tempt us with cut price offers of boxes of sweets, biscuits and chocolates. Christmas puddings, cakes and mince pies, which make their appearance by early October!
I wonder how many people in our increasingly materialistic world will think about the birth of Jesus Christ? Almighty God, in His love for mankind, sent us all a marvellous gift – the gift of His Only Son, the pathway to salvation for those who trust in Jesus and in God, his Father.
The story is simple. God chose Mary, a virgin, to be the mother of His beloved Son. The angel Gabriel was sent to tell Mary.
“Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give to Him the throne of his father David and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever and of his kingdom there shall be no end. … The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore also that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:30-33, 35)
So Jesus was born in a stable Bethlehem, the city of his ancestor King David.
“…it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caeser Augustus that all the world should be registered.…Joseph also went up from Galilee…… to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem…..with Mary……she brought forth her firstborn Son…. laid Him in a manger, because there was no room in the Inn” (Luke 2:1-7)
This had been foretold many years before by the prophet Micah.
“….. O Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel.” (Micah 5:2)
This humble birth sends an amazing message to us all. The All Powerful God chose to give us the gift of His Only Beloved Son Jesus, our Saviour and King, born as one of us, to reveal God’s character and His plan of salvation.
Jesus told his disciple Philip
“… He who has seen Me has seen the Father …” (John 14:9)
Jesus born in Bethlehem lived a perfect sinless life. Jesus is our Saviour and High Priest who, by his death, is the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all who would try to follow his example.
The Letter to the Hebrews tells us that
“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathise with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)
So, as we look forward to Christmas, we must always remember why Jesus was born and give our grateful thanks to God for His Gift, Jesus the Saviour, who is described by the apostle Paul as,
“……. God’s indescribable gift.” (2 Corinthians 9:15)
Quotations from New King James Bible