I’m taking a few days off until early 2017. Happy New Year. I plan to be back with a new topic for the New Year.
Today we celebrate Christmas. Today we celebrate Jesus birth. Mary and Joseph welcomed Jesus into their family, their home, their lives. Will we, do we do the same? Will we make room for Jesus? There is nothing else He would want. I hope you joyfully celebrate the gift of God’s Son.
Mary didn’t make up her story. God sent an angel to tell Joseph that every thing Mary said was true. God was keeping his promise. The virgin Mary would give birth to Immanuel. The gift of God’s Son was very personal for Mary and Joseph. It can be for us too if we open our hearts to Jesus and welcome Him into our lives. That is the key to a Joyful Christmas.
Mary conceived Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is Immanuel, God with us to rescue us. Jesus is both fully human and truly God. Christmas is the good news of God’s love in action to save and restore sinful, imperfect, rebellious people like me and you. The promise God made through the Prophet Isaiah came true.
Before there was DNA testing or Ancestry.com to help people trace their family heritage, the people of Israel kept detailed ancestral records. The ancestry of Jesus reveals He was from the line of promise to Abraham and King David. But it also reveals some sketchy characters like a prostitute, a foreigner and an adulterer. Jesus came into the world of real people to rescue us from sin and all of it’s terrible consequences. Through the gift of faith we are made part of Jesus’s family tree.
After Jesus’s Ascension, the Disciples were filled with joy as they worshipped and praised the Lord. This Christmas is a great time to be filled with the joy of the Lord as we worship and praise our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who entered our world that first Christmas to save us from sin and death, to give us a new life.
Before Jesus returned to heaven He blessed the Disciples. Jesus left with a blessing. Isn’t it appropriate for us to end our worship services with God’s blessing. Wouldn’t it be great if we would live in a way that people are blessed when we are with them. We can bless people this week by giving them the good news of Christmas: God loves us. God is for us. God is with us.
Jesus promised that He would send the Holy Spirit to the Disciples. He did and they were give the courage and the power to tell people about Jesus. We need Spirit Power to tell people about Jesus this Christmas.
The Disciples were eye witnesses of Jesus’s life, death and resurrection. They saw Jesus with their own eyes. We are witnesses for Jesus today. We have seen Him in the Gospels and with the eyes of faith. Christmas is a great time to tell people about Jesus. Everyone needs the forgiveness and life that Jesus gives. Be a witness for Jesus this week.
The Good news of Easter is for all people. No one is left out. Jesus defeated sin and death. He offers forgiveness and life to all who believe in Him and repent. It’s that simple.