19 Dec “Twas a Night Long Ago”
First of all, thank you all for the gifts and cards you have given this Christmas season. We love you all. This is our 8th Christmas we have spent with you as your Pastors! Can you believe that?
Yes, I know you have heard the story of Jesus’ birth a dozen times, no a hundred … wait a minute …. perhaps a thousand plus times! There is a danger in that. Even as a pastor in my younger years, we would gather with family and there would be the reading of the Christmas story. I could almost quote it, since I had read the story privately and publicly. A sad admission — There were times when I was anxious to just get on with the giving of gifts. I am ashamed to admit it.
Then, I think how sorrowful my God and His Son must feel when the greatest miracle of all times took place, and we treat the story as boring or common place. Perhaps we need to look beyond the Christmas story to understand the significance of what happened. So, allow me to try a different spin on the story.
From the Genesis episode of Adam and Eve’s failure and sin by eating of forbidden fruit, God had immediately made a plan of redemption. “And I (God) will put enmity between you (devil) and the woman, and between your seed and her seed (human race); He (Jesus) shall bruise your head (a mortal wound) and you (satan) shall bruise His (Jesus’) heel.” (A very painful wound, yet not a death wound.) Genesis 3:15. Why would God do that?
Then came all the Old Testament prophets who were anointed to write that the Messiah would be coming. The final Old Testament prophet, Malachi prophesied (400 years before Jesus was born), “‘Behold I send My messenger, and He will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, who you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. Behold He is coming,’ says the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 3:1
Then came that long awaited night, 400 years later! It was nothing like we assumed the entry of the Son of God on the face of the earth would be. One would think Jesus, Immanuel, God with Us, should have entered the world in a regal, royal setting. Instead, Jesus was born in a miraculous conception by a virgin in a barn!
Yes, Twas a night long ago, but so often we get caught up in the glitz and glamour, the busy-ness, the family dramas, the excitement of giving gifts, that we don’t give proper credit to what happened.
How do we change that? Take a deep breath, find some alone time, kneel or sit with your Bible. Pray, “Holy Spirit, please help me to properly be in awe of what You did for us in the Christmas miracle.” Then, read and allow your spirit to be touched by God’s Holy Spirit. Let Jesus’ peace, joy, and hope, override the difficulty of 2020.
Pastor Stan & Gevena