Sunday, December 25, 2011

Comfort, Joy, and Merry CHRISTmas!!

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not:  for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ, the Lord.” 
Luke 2:10,11 (KJV)

Author Unknown

“God rest ye merry gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay;
Remember Christ our Savior,
Was born on Christmas day.
To save us all from satan’s power,
When we were gone astray,
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy,
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy."

That is what the angel brought, when it appeared to the shepherds on that first Christmas night.  Tidings of great joy…and so much comfort!  For years, the world had been in darkness…waiting….for the promise of the Messiah to be fulfilled.  The One who would free them from all spiritual bondage!  And on this blessed night, He came!

Unassuming, in an out-of-the-way, obscure place…with just His mother and earthly father in attendance, the precious, long-awaited Messiah was born!  And in that moment, God became flesh so that He could live and dwell among men.  For 33 ½ years, He lived and breathed and walked and talked.  He felt what we feel.  He was tested like we are tested.  He hurt like we hurt.  He was God, and He was man.  He was the bridge that spanned the gap between the two.  I love the Scripture in Ephesians 2:14 (KJV) that says, “For He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us…”  This is why Jesus came…to tear down the wall between God and man, by becoming one of us.  Emmanuel, God with us! 

The Old Testament prophets could see, at a distance, that one day there would be a Savior.  They prophesied right down to the finest detail about Jesus’ birth...and it came to pass exactly as they foretold it.  Remember Anna and Simeon?  Both of them were in the temple when Jesus was brought in for circumcision, and they both recognized that Jesus was the Messiah that they had been waiting for.  How did they do that?  What was different about Him that caused Him to stand out from the other babies brought in that day?  It is wonderful how God, through His precious Spirit, revealed to both of them that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God. 

I love the passage in Luke 2:25-30 that describes Simeon and his reaction to seeing the baby Jesus.  “And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel:  And the Holy Ghost was upon him.  And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.  And he came by the Spirit into the temple:  and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest Thou thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word:  For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation…” 

There was something very different about the Lord Jesus Christ, even as an infant, that was identified by those who had God’s Spirit dwelling within them.  And just as His presence filled the heart of Simeon with comfort and made Anna rejoice in the temple, He brings comfort, and joy to all those who open their hearts to receive Him today.  There is no true joy outside of having peace with God.  Jesus came to bring peace between God and man.  His presence in the heart and life are a Source of comfort each and every day.
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas day!  I hope you are surrounded by the ones you love the most, which means more than any earthly gift.  I hope the day brings much happiness to you as you celebrate and enjoy whatever festivities and family traditions you hold dear.  And, as your heart is warmed by family, friends, and loved ones, I hope you pause for a few moments….and remember the Christ child.  And if you have never made the decision to let Him come into your heart and life, I hope with all my heart, you decide to do that this Christmas.  When He came as a baby, there was no room for Him in the inn.  I hope today we all make room for Him in our hearts.  From my family and me, Merry and blessed CHRISTmas greetings to you and yours!

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