Today’s Reading – Luke 17-20
Luke 18:14b – For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted. (ESV)
It’s probably not something you think about very often in the midst of the gift giving and decorations and feasts of great food and fellowship, but Christmas is a celebration of the ultimate example of humility. When Jesus Christ was born some 2000 years ago, he didn’t enter this world as the religious leaders had expected. They were expecting a military or governmental leader who would overthrow the oppressive foreign regime and bring peace to the nation of Israel. Instead what they got was a baby born in a lowly manger. He wasn’t born in a palace, but he came in the midst of a stable filled with animals. Surely, this couldn’t be the Messiah they had been longing for. Continue reading
Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (ESV)
This morning as I sit on my couch staring at a fire in the fireplace in the middle of a beautifully decorated house for the Christmas season, I find that my affections are stirred toward my Heavenly Father! In the middle of a season that has been overtaken by the consumerism of America that attempts to lure our focus away from the true “reason for the season” it is times like this that remind me that we have a true reason to celebrate!
I have been spending time with my family focusing on Advent this year and what it means for us in the midst of what has become such a hectic season. “Advent” is the season of celebration that leads up to Christmas. Advent comes from the Latin word adventus which means “coming”. Throughout the Old Testament, the Jews reflected on the promises they had heard from the prophets about their Savior that had been promised to them as early as Genesis 3. These promises were fulfilled in the little town of Bethlehem over two thousand years ago as a baby was born. This was not what most expected, but it was part of God’s beautiful plan of redemption.
For Christians today, we are no longer looking for a Savior to come, but a king to return. We know that He will return and make all things new again. In doing this, He will establish His Kingdom and do away with sin and death once and for all. This is the promise to which we look today. This is the reason we have for celebrating!
So in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, remember that we celebrate the promise of God that was fulfilled in a stable over 2000 years ago! But we also reflect upon our eager anticipation of the promise that has yet to be fulfilled…. He’s coming back for us!!!
Matthew 1:23 – “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). (ESV)
Luke 2:14 – “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (ESV)
For those who are following the Chronological One Year Bible reading plan, yesterday marked the beginning of the New Testament. All of the prophecies and stories that pointed to a coming Messiah are about to come to life as we read. Continue reading