Monday, 02 December 2019 22:11

The Christmas Gospel

18   Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23          “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,

                      and they shall call his name Immanuel”  (Matt 1:18–23 ESV)

 

            Almighty everybody knows that story, some very well. It is precious to some, and puzzling to others. Christmas is everywhere. The celebration is becoming more secular, that seems clear. Many of the activities may have little to do with worshipping Christ, the new-born king. Even so, His story remains at the center of Christmas.

            The music of the season is full of the gospel story. Admittedly, there are plenty of generic, non-religious songs we hear this time of year. Chestnuts regularly roast on an open fire. We still promise to be home for Christmas, if only in our dreams. Almost every year, I hear at some point the alarming news that grandma got run over by a reindeer…again!

            Some of the music is different. In public, un-expected places we notice the name of Jesus. We are exposed to the story of his birth, and even some pretty deep thinking about why Jesus came into the world.

            One of my favorite Christmas carols is “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.” Some of its lines include:

           

Peace on earth and mercy mild

God and sinners reconciled"

 

Veiled in flesh the Godhead see

Hail the incarnate Deity

Pleased as man with man to dwell

Jesus, our Emmanuel

 

Light and life to all He brings

Ris'n with healing in His wings

  

Mild He lays His glory by

Born that man no more may die

Born to raise the sons of earth

Born to give them second birth

           

There is something very profound here. The words might run past us, unnoticed, like festive wallpaper. If we take the time to really listen, we will be led to the good news of Christ our Savior. In Jesus, God and sinners are reconciled. He is born that we might be born again.

            May this Christmas be filled with the joy of Christ, who brings light and life to us.

      

Last modified on Monday, 02 December 2019 22:27