I know your day is busy with lots of last-minute things to do before Christmas. But I have a present for you…so will you take a moment from your hectic schedule? Now I know this present isn’t very pretty, in fact it’s very battered looking with red stains on the outside. And to the world it would seem very old fashion and out of date. But this present could literally change your life for the better…with joy, peace, and wholeness. This gift is actually from God, and He, Himself, is offering it to you.. For this wonderful gift is His Son, Jesus Christ…and the whole reason why we celebrate Christmas tomorrow. So please receive this gift of hope, called the Good News…for Jesus came and died for your sins that you may have eternal life.
Why did God choose to proclaim the coming Messiah to the shepherds? They were far from the politically elite…and at the other end of the spectrum from the powerful religious circle. So what did God see in that rag-tag group of blue-collar workers in that field outside of Bethlehem to warrant such a grand and glorious display to announce the coming of His Son? In a word, He saw us. He didn’t wish to address the political or religious bigwigs…He chose rather to tell the working class…people like you and me the good news of Jesus Christ. And this holds true today…the Lord Jesus Christ has come for you and me… common, ordinary people who need a Savior.
For Mary, this was her first baby…and for the world, it was likewise a new beginning. For Mary, it was her first labor and delivery in rather dismal conditions.. for us, it was the gift of a new start. It tells us in Colossians 1:15 that, “He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born over all creation.” When that tiny baby was born, the manifestation of God the Father came to earth to dwell among us. And when Mary laid baby Jesus in that manger, surrounded by livestock and hay, the preeminence over all creation arrived to light the way for sinners.
When the angel came to Mary she had questions, but in the end accepted the unfathomable. With Joseph though, it wasn’t that easy. The very human feelings of hurt and rejection were evident in his decision to divorce Mary quietly. And it certainly was within the Law to dismiss her from the bond of marriage with a Certificate of Divorce for her perceived conduct. But before this could happen, the angel visited Joseph and convinced him that what Mary had told him was true…she in fact had not been unfaithful. The Lord will sometimes give us a promise so wonderful and far-fetched that we can’t put our heads around it either…it’s at that point we will make the decision to either believe God or reject it based on our shallow emotions.
All of humanity was lost…floundering in a sea of sin…sinking to never rise again. When a baby was brought forth…God bestowing this precious gift on all. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son – Jesus Christ – to bridge the chasm between God and man…and bring eternal life to a dying world.