“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”
A number of years ago at a Ministerial meeting the question was asked about what we enjoyed about the Christmas season. This got me to thinking about what I really do enjoy about this season. To be sure there is much to be enjoyed in this season. I love gathering with my family. I love giving gifts to loved ones. I really love the Christmas services at the Church. I especially love the singing of Christmas Carols. Every year there is the joyful celebration that takes place when the Sunday School children present their Nativity Play. Nothing is better that a well presented Choir Cantata at Christmas time as we will be experiencing this week when our choir presents Joel Raney’s “The Promise of Light”.
The question remains however, what do I enjoy most about the Christmas season? My answer focuses upon the message of the Incarnation. This season gives us an opportunity to explore in depth the great miracle of our faith. This is that God’s Son came into this world, becoming flesh like us but without sin. So often in the Scripture the Incarnation is the centre of the argument. In Hebrews the fact that God spoke through His Incarnate Son takes centre place. There is no salvation if the Son of God did not become flesh. I am reminded of Augustine’s point that “there is no hope apart from the grace of the Incarnation.” Here is where our hope comes from. It is something which we could never do for ourselves no matter how hard we might try.
What we could never do for
ourselves God did for us. Think about
this astounding miracle a tiny, helpless baby born in the town of Bethlehem;
just where Micah said the Messiah would be born, laid in a manger in a stable,
this child was in fact the Son of the Living God. In that child, so helpless lay the hope of
the whole world. For many, alive at that
time, they were completely unaware of what had taken place. Would you, or I, have recognised that that
particular baby was your only hope? Some
thirty years later that baby would go to a Roman cross to die bearing our
sin. None of that would have mattered if
it were not for the Incarnation for it was God who died for us.
The message of the Incarnation is that point
where we discover that our God is a being who loves us so much that He enters
into our lives in order to redeem us. At
a time in history when there is so much that makes us feel hopeless this is our
message of hope. The same God who gave
us the gift of His only begotten Son is at work among us. The Word of God tells us that our Redeemer is
at the right hand of His Father interceding for us. Very soon He will come back in order to
receive us to Himself. When He does come
we will be like Him, without sin, enjoying His presence for Eternity. This is what I enjoy most about this season.