Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 22, 2014

The Happy Return of Christmas

The Happiest Season of the Year!

That wonderful, happy time of the year is almost upon us, this Thursday is Christmas. The stores I’ve happened to visit have been packed with customers who seemed to be in a good mood in spite of the long lines; it seems that Christmas can often bring out the best in us.

The enormous significance of Christmas, the First Advent of our Lord, may sometimes get lost in the hustle and bustle of the season and the sometimes frantic preparations that seem to be an inevitable part of the days before Christmas. We have even witnessed an effort on the part of some to remove Christ and Christmas from the winter “Holiday Season” and to secularize the season so as not to offend those who prefer to reject the message of Christ and Christmas; fortunately that trend seems to be losing ground.

For those of us who love the Lord Jesus Christ, this season is a beautiful reminder of our Lord, the wonder of His birth and the enormous significance of the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us.

Four Hundred Years of Silence

The voice of God through His prophets had become silent; for 400 years Israel did not receive any word from God through the prophets. Much had happened that was instrumental in setting the stage for the events that would transpire during the First Advent but there was no word from the Lord; just silence for 400 years.

God was planning on breaking that silence in the most dramatic way possible; God the Son, the living Word, would be born of a virgin and become flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone. The silence would finally be broken by the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord; the Word of God would be made flesh and dwell among us. We would have a Kinsman/Redeemer, a Savior who would take our place of judgment and die on the cross for the redemption of our sins.

The Birth of the King

It is fascinating to me to reflect on the decisions God made as to the birth of the Son of God. The eternal creator of the universe was not to be born in a palace or even a major city of the time; but was to be born of humble parentage in a small insignificant village named Bethlehem. Although both were of the line of King David, any association with royalty had faded generations before. His mother, Mary, was a peasant girl and her husband, Joseph, was a simple carpenter; hardly a likely couple to become the caregivers for the humanity of the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe.

All proceeded according to God’s eternal plan and the precious baby was entrusted to humans to care for and love as He grew in stature and wisdom over the early years of His life.

The Shepherds

The Bible describes two events surrounding the birth and early childhood of our Lord. The first had to do with the angelic host appearing to the shepherds. I have read that these particular shepherds and the sheep of their flock were very special; these were the sheep destined for temple sacrifice. How fitting that the announcement of the birth of the Lamb of God, slain before the foundation of the world, should be made to shepherds tending the sheep to be sacrificed on the Temple altar.

The Magi

The second event concerns the arrival of the magi whose number is not specified in Scripture. I have previously written on the magi and the mysterious star they followed and have some strongly held opinions concerning both. The account of the magi is only given in Matthew 2:1-12, and the implications are the magi appeared around two years after the birth of Jesus. I believe these particular magi were of a group founded by the prophet Daniel, and the gifts presented by the magi were placed with that group originally by Daniel himself.

Daniel had prophesied the very day our Lord would enter Jerusalem as the Lamb of God and I believe he instructed the magi to pay particular attention as that time drew closer. I believe the star was in fact the Shekinah Glory of God and led the magi to the place where Jesus was living. While none of this is specified in Scripture, it would explain a lot.

Christmas Today

Although under attack, Christmas is still a powerful factor in the lives of many. I think we can all agree that the mood becomes a bit more joyous and happy around Christmas especially in the Christian community. The traditions of Christmas are always welcome and bring remembrances of Christmas past and the fun and fellowship of family and friends. The traditional Christmas hymns are a great blessing and tell the story of our Lord’s birth with beauty and simplicity.

Christmas is a happy time and I’m thankful it is here again!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

This is an updated version of an essay first published on December 18, 2013.


Responses

  1. Dear David,
    Thank you for posting this rich article about Christmas. Jesus came to earth in the fullness of time and His humble birth in a cave in Bethlehem is a turning point in history from the time of law into the time of grace, from the time of punishment into the time of forgiveness. At the same time Christmas is a time to review ourselves from inside, and ask ourselves if we are walking in the right path with Him. It is a time too to purify ourselves and sift our deeds weather they are the appropriate deeds that satisfy God. Above all it is a time to let Him be born in our hearts today. Merry Christmas and happy new year to you and to your family.

    You remember James Foley, the American journalist from Rochester N.H. who was beheaded by ISIS lately. I wrote a poem about him and I emailed it to his parent, but I did not receive any response from them. Now I will be sending it to you to post it through your outreach if possible. I will email it to you now.
    Your brother in Christ
    Hanna Awwad

    Like

  2. We just finished a study of Daniel in my Sunday school class. I love the prophesy of our Christ. But I never heard the magi related to him. Fascinating to think about. Thank you again, David!

    Like

    • Donna,

      Daniel was one of the leaders of the wise men during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar and an important national leader under Darius. I’m inclined to believe that Daniel, who had prophesied the date of Christ’s entry into Jerusalem, had instructed certain wise men of Persia to look for a time 30 or so years before the date he gave them to be on the look out for any unusual signs that something was going to happen. I’ve worked up a time line for Daniel’s prophecies and if you would like to have a copy, please let me know.

      Thank you for being a subscriber!

      David

      Like

  3. Thank you, David. I would very much like a copy of your timeline! You can email it to me at: donnalhawes@yahoo.com
    Thanks again!

    Like


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