In three days, we celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Historically, we know that Jesus was not actually born on December 25. Nevertheless, this is the traditional day for us to celebrate the greatest gift of all, the gift of the Messiah.
As Christmas day draws near, I know that it is easy to get caught up in the stress of having to finish last minute Christmas shopping or having to travel long distances to see family. In these final days leading up to Christmas, though, I encourage you to slow down and focus on the significance of God’s gift of his son to a broken world.
How do we see Christ in Christmas? Dr. Warren Gage has written a free devotional e-Book, “Seeing Christ in Christmas,” that I recommend. It is available at this link: http://christmasebook.alexandrianforum.org
Dr. Gage answers the following questions, among many:
How did the wise men know that the appearance of a star signaled the long-awaited birth of the Messiah, the “child born king of the Jews?” What was the prophetic meaning of the sign from heaven given to the shepherds of Bethlehem? Finally, is it possible that the Christmas story anticipates the story of Jesus’ resurrection in a beautiful way?
Here is a small excerpt:
“Why did the host of angels appear to a group of lowly shepherds to announce the birth of the Christ and not to the kings of the earth? We’re so familiar with the Christmas story that we miss how startling this part of it is supposed to be. In ancient Israel, shepherds were not given any regard by polite society. In fact, they were generally despised. Because their occupation kept them constantly attending to their flocks, they could not keep the laws of purity or observe the same sacred days and temple rituals as other Jews. As a result, they were considered unclean and unworthy. The fact that God chose to announce the gospel message of the birth of the Savior to a group of disregarded shepherds rather than to the religious leaders, the Herodians, or the Romans located in Jerusalem just a few short miles away from Bethlehem teaches us a profound lesson about the heart of Father God for his people.”
This free gift and many others can be downloaded from The Alexandrian Forum (www.AlexandrianForum.org), which exists to bring an affordable seminary education to those who cannot afford to pay the high cost of tuition and a free seminary education to pastors and elders!
Merry Christmas and God Bless!