Visitors from the heart of the Parthian Empire seeking a legitimate Jewish king were particularly distressing. Herod’s extreme suspicion prompted him to summon the religious leaders. He demanded an answer to one question: where the Christ [Messiah] was to be born.
As you gather with family and loved ones, take time to read the account of the Nativity together!
As you enjoy the lights of the season, remember that tonight the Judeo-Christian world celebrates the reality that light conquered the darkness!
While there is no indication of angelic GPS or even verbal directions to guide the shepherds to the manger, astonishingly, there is no mention of confusion or frantic discussion concerning an extensive search for the baby. The narrative candidly asserts, “And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger” (Lk. 2:16).
Temple shepherds were the first to hear the angelic announcement of Jesus’ birth. The angel’s message brought overwhelming joy to the shepherds because their knowledge of Scripture undoubtedly included the prophecies concerning the Messiah.
The drama unfolding on the night of Jesus’ birth has captured the imagination of Christians through the centuries. By God’s grace, we share in the benefits of the awesome angelic announcement!
The angel’s message of peace on the night of the Nativity can be a reality in your life. You can choose to live in the personal peace that comes as a result of trusting God. And, when you do, your life will exemplify God’s peace in all your interactions with those you meet throughout the day.
Together—you and I along with other people of faith—can be instrumental in affirming that God not only knows about the chaotic reverberations of our day-to-day reality, He alone can right the wrongs in the world so that the message of peace, goodwill toward men can ring out loud and clear!
While it is vital we recognize Jesus’ perfect humanity; that His humanity is coupled with absolute deity defines the uniqueness of the Incarnation.
Contrary to artistic depictions, no aura, halo or nimbus distinguished Jesus from any other human baby! When we ponder Jesus’ humanity a completely different portrait emerges!
The babe in the manger is the proper focus as we prepare our hearts and minds this Christmas season. But, never forget that the One wrapped in swaddling cloths was none other than God Incarnate—Immanuel.
While the Western world seems to have forgotten the significance, our celebration of Jesus’ birth and His resurrection on Easter Sunday is an acknowledgement of the historically documented truth that God appointed these set times to accomplish His purposes.
God, who sees the totality of history from beginning to end, has set specific times for the events of history. History is not careening out of control toward an uncertain end, but rather is unfolding according to an overarching plan.
BE ENCOURAGED—that if the sovereign God of creation is so awesome and mighty He could accomplish all that He purposed at His set time to provide redemption—not only can you trust Him with the challenges you face today, but with your eternal destiny!
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!’”
The angel’s message of “good tidings of great joy,” was rooted in the fulfillment of the plan of God’s gift of redemption made available to all men through the person of Jesus Christ. Not only is He the “reason for the season,” Jesus is the source of joy associated with Christmas.
For people of faith, Simeon’s words are a compelling confirmation that Old Testament prophecy has been fulfilled concerning the birth of the Messiah. Simeon’s words also reflect praise along with a definitive message of hope extended to the whole world!
Every Christmas season is a striking reminder of God’s faithfulness in sending the promised Redeemer. Rather than allowing the pressure of frenetic activity during the holiday season to cause stress and anxiety, focus your heart and mind on God’s wonderful gift that makes redemption available to the whole world!
The Nativity was the culmination of critical events planned and choreographed by God that climaxed in the birth of His Son. Christians celebrating Christmas in the 21st century rightly focus on the night Jesus was born! Give Him glory and praise!!
Cherubim are immensely powerful beings intimately connected to God who function as His ministering servants in accomplishing His direct will. Whether recognized as such in artistic depictions, people of faith can rely on the veracity of Bible as the foundation for our understanding.
Angelic beings are devoted in service to God; they are “ministering spirits.” Their actions are not governed by man’s desires, but rather by God’s supreme will as He carries out His sovereign purposes in the lives of men.
For people of faith, it’s imperative to remember—that with every salutation and greeting of “Merry Christmas,” you are proclaiming that the Messiah and Savior of the world came, as prophesied through angelic encounters!
The next time you see an angel figure—topping a Christmas tree, swinging silently above a Nativity scene or dizzily careening around in an angel chime—take time to ponder that God’s messengers are not merely an ornament to the Christmas Story; they are integral to it!
You can choose to enjoy and optimize your influence this Christmas season by preparing your heart and mind. Walk with me through the next 25 days as we focus our minds and hearts on the awesome message of Christmas!
With centuries of visual depictions from which to draw, our imaginations are quick to conjure a romantic picture of the place where God entered time and space. We may envision a rustic though charming little stable smelling of fresh straw and knotty pine—a quaint secluded alcove removed from the noise and commotion of Bethlehem bulging at the seams with travelers.