Christmas…what a great time of year. People seem happy, filled with anticipation and looking forward to time spent with family and friends. Traveling is on the increase, postal workers are more burdened with cards and it seems that delivery trucks run night and day. Christmas is truly a special time of year.
What makes this time of year special though is the celebration of the birth of Jesus. In Luke 2:6-7 we read “And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” What joy that day in the arrival of Immanuel. As his name implies God was now truly with man. Jesus had taken the form of a baby and was born to a virgin. I love the words “she brought forth her firstborn son.” Can you picture in your mind Mary as she finally got to lay her eyes on her son, her firstborn son. She must have been filled with wonder and awe at the sight of the Saviour of the world laying there resting in her arms. At that time Jesus had very basic needs and Mary was capable of meeting those needs. You and I on the other hand have needs that no man or woman could fulfill and that is why Jesus had to come to earth as a baby. He lived the life that the Father had intended for him and ultimately gave his life as atonement for our sins.
Those early days consisted of a mother and her child resting and enjoying the new life. As the shepherds and those gathered around wondered at the events leading up to the birth of Jesus Luke 2:19 says “But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.” Try as I might to understand what Mary was thinking about I must admit I do not know. The Bible does not say. She sat looking into the very eyes of God. She knew the Old Testament prophecies. She knew the events foretold about his birth and about his sacrifice.
While I do not know the thoughts of Mary I hope she sat, looked into the eyes of Jesus and saw the Messiah…her Saviour. During this Christmas season my prayer for you is that you see Jesus as you have never seen him before. Do not look at him as a babe in a manger. Those days are long gone. See Jesus as he is today. A Saviour, who came, lived, died and rose again that we may have a remission of sin. You are the reason he came. Enjoy your coffee.
Love you all,
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Gary W. Hall, Pastor of Mt. Olivet Baptist Church.