Keeping Christ in Christmas
 
 
 
 

Advent, the first season of the Christian year, is a season of anticipation. We look forward to the remembrance and celebration of the birth of the Christ child in Bethlehem and we anticipate and celebrate in advance the coming of the return of Christ in glory. Our carols will be filled with double meaning of the two comings of Christ, as Savior and as Judge.

 

God promised to come to rescue his people from their oppressors and to inaugurate his righteous reign upon the earth not only over His people, Israel, but also over the nations. Hebrew prayers to this day reflect this great hope based on God’s promise as they begin, “Blessed are you Lord God, King of the universe…” The extraordinary claim of the Bible is that Israel’s God is like no other. Yahweh alone is the Maker of Heaven and Earth and its rightful monarch. 

At Christmas, we often pause to reflect on our blessings—but our greatest blessing is that God kept his promise to send a rescuer. 

We were lost in sin—dead—in bondage and enslaved to sin, unable to save, rescue or redeem ourselves. If God did not rescue us, we would be hopelessly and helplessly lost. But the glorious news of the Gospel is that the God of glory, the Holy One of Israel, is mighty to save. He sent his angels to proclaim His arrival and rescue. To all who call upon the name of the Lord, God has promised rescue and redemption. The angels declared it. The shepherds believed it. The Magi followed it. Mary pondered it…the glorious news of Christmas…unto us is born this day in the city of David, a savior…who is Christ the Lord!”

As we sing carols this Christmas season, eat traditional meals, unpack and set up decorations, send greetings to our loved ones…let us not lose sight of our great savior and His great salvation as the cause and heart of our celebration. Jesus is why we sing Joy to the world…The Lord is come…Let Earth receive her King!” 

Copyright 2009  Rev. Walter "Lucky" Arnold
http://www.firstpresnpb.org

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