Luke 2:8-16:  The shepherds visit the Lord Jesus in the manger.

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,14 “Glory to God in the highest,and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” [1]15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.  

 Matthew 2:1-12: The wise men are led by the star to the Lord Jesus.

 2:1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men [1] from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose [2] and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;for from you shall come a rulerwho will shepherd my people Israel.’”Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way. 

 John 1:1-14: John unfolds the great mystery of God made flesh.

 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, [1] and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, [2] and his own people [3] did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 

 

 

Luke 1:26-38: The angel Gabriel greets Mary.

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed [1] to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” [2] 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” [3]35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born [4] will be called holy—the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant [5] of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.  

Luke 2:1-7: Luke tells of Jesus’ birth.

2:1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when [1] Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, [2] who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.  

The CHRISTmas Story, part two

December 20, 2007

Genesis 22:15-18: The Lord promises to Abraham that his descendant will bless all nations.

15 And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16 and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his [1] enemies, 18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”  

 Isaiah 9:2,6,7: The prophet Isaiah foretells the coming of the Saviour.

 [1] The people who walked in darknesshave seen a great light;those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. For to us a child is born,to us a son is given;and the government shall be upon [1] his shoulder,and his name shall be called [2]Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peacethere will be no end,on the throne of David and over his kingdom,to establish it and to uphold itwith justice and with righteousnessfrom this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.   

 Isaiah 11:1-9: The prophet Isaiah foretells the peace the Saviour will bring.

11:1 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,the Spirit of counsel and might,the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.He shall not judge by what his eyes see,or decide disputes by what his ears hear,but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,and faithfulness the belt of his loins.The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;and a little child shall lead them.The cow and the bear shall graze;their young shall lie down together;and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra,and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.They shall not hurt or destroyin all my holy mountain;for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.  

The CHRISTmas Story, part one

December 19, 2007

Genesis 3:8-19: The Lord tells Adam and Eve that one day their descendant will destroy the serpent Satan. 

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool [1] of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” [2] 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

14 The Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this,cursed are you above all livestockand above all beasts of the field;on your belly you shall go,and dust you shall eatall the days of your life.15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,and between your offspring [3] and her offspring;he shall bruise your head,and you shall bruise his heel.”

16 To the woman he said,

“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;in pain you shall bring forth children.Your desire shall be for [4] your husband,and he shall rule over you.”

17 And to Adam he said,

“Because you have listened to the voice of your wifeand have eaten of the treeof which I commanded you,‘You shall not eat of it,’cursed is the ground because of you;in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;and you shall eat the plants of the field.19 By the sweat of your faceyou shall eat bread,till you return to the ground,for out of it you were taken;for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

 

To Glory in Our Redeemer

December 6, 2007

Once again I am struck by the power of these words found in the song, “I Will Glory in My Redeemer”.  Read the words and see the magnificent description of the gospel message within the song, Jesus, who is our Redeemer.   

I will glory in my Redeemer   

Whose priceless blood has ransomed me.

Mine was the sin that drove the bitter nails;

And hung him on that judgment tree.

I will glory in my Redeemer,

Who crushed the power of sin and death;

My only Savior before the Holy Judge;

The Lamb who is my righteousness; the Lamb who is my righteousness. 

 

I will glory in my Redeemer;

My life He bought, my love He owns.

I have no longings for another;

I’m satisfied in Him alone.

I will glory in my Redeemer,

His faithfulness my standing place;

Though foes are mighty and rush upon me;

My feet are firm, held by His grace; my feet are firm, held by His grace. 

 

I will glory in my Redeemer

Who carries me on eagle’s wings.

He crowns my life with loving kindness;

His triumph song I’ll ever sing.

I will glory in my Redeemer

Who waits for me at gates of gold;

And when He calls me, it will be paradise;

His face forever to behold, His face forever to behold.

    

I love the final lines of each stanza, “The Lamb who is my righteousness…My feet are firm, held by His grace…and His face forever to behold”.  Wow!  So powerful and so true.    Again, this song points to Him, who is the one who loved us first.  It is He who knew no sin, who took on sin for us. It is He who loves us and who is our righteousness.  It is He in whom we have confidence in, for His grace is sufficient.  It is He who gives us strength in times of weakness.  It is He who lives.  He who gives us grace.  He who promises eternal life.  He who deserves all our praise.  He is the Mighty King.  He is our Lord and Saviour.  Amen and amen!