The Christmas story continues….
Christmas is the biggest religious holidays worldwide and regardless of who you are or where you are in the world, you can’t miss Christmas, and even amidst all the consumerism of Christmas, there is no escaping the true gift of Christmas – Jesus Christ.
The gift of Jesus offered freely to those without hope, to the lonely, to the sick and the outcasts. And regardless of how lonely a person is over Christmas, how little a person has, how empty a person may be feeling, Jesus came for that person and He came for that person with purpose.
His entry into this world had purpose. His Life, an example and His Death and Resurrection hope for all eternity. The birth of an impoverished middle east boy even led to all this – the shopping, the traffic jams, the lights, decorations, but the birth of Jesus Christ changed history irrevocably.
The way we captured time was changed, our calendar is based on this birth.
The birth of Jesus Christ was a single event that dissected world Our calendar, based on the birth of Christ became BC -Before Christ and AD-Anno Domini; “anno Domini nostri Jesu Christi ” translated to “in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ”.
Time changed. Our time IS defined by the birth of Jesus. Your birthday IS defined by Jesus. YOUR LIFE IS DEFINED BY THE BIRTH OF JESUS. ( whether you like it or not…)
It was a profound, momentous, game changing with time being changed for all eternity!
And so, amidst the Carols, the lights and gifts we should remember what the purpose of Christmas is, that at this time when time was changed we need to remind ourselves what Christmas is all about –
The birth of Christ is the dawning of faith and hope. The birth of Christ was a promise fulfilled, a promise made to the Hebrew nation but made available to all nations. (“Wonderful Counselor,” “Mighty God,” “Everlasting Father,” “Prince of Peace,” and would possess an everlasting kingdom (Isaiah 9:6-7)
So what was so profound, momentous and world changing about this birth of a poor pheasant boy in Bethlehem? An event so momentous that a company of Angels announced this birth. Luke 2: 8-14 tells us of the Angels appearing to the shepherds saying: “Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great Joy that will be for all people”
The birth of Jesus was an announcement to the world of peace and goodwill to all mankind, it was a statement by the creator to all creation that He had heard their cries for help and so in response he sent His to be born of a virgin Mary in a humble stable and in a manger of hay.
But the Christmas story does not end there.
The Nativity story does not end with the sheep and the angels and the 3 wise men…because the story is only beginning.
30 years later a 2nd birth begins to take place – the birth of Jesus’ ministry on earth, and as John the Baptist, who was preparing the way for the whose mother was mentioned earlier in the Gospels whilst languishing in Herods prison hears about what Jesus is doing and asks: “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”
Jesus replies: “The blind see, the lame walk, the leper is healed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. ( Matthew 11: 1-6) and so through the life and ministry of Jesus the Messiah, the Christmas story continues.
But the Christmas story does not end there.
At Golgotha, Christ is crucified. He dies. He is dead, He is buried but God raises Him (Jesus) from the dead, and the Christmas story continues through the death and resurrection of Jesus- But the Christmas story does not end there.
The Christmas story continues and is continuing through the Church and Christ-followers today. Christ passed on the mandate to each of us to “go and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. To live out our lives as Jesus lived his, to live out the gospel of forgiveness, and grace, and mercy.
The Christmas story continues through Christ Living in each of us, and in return living out His word and message in this world.
The Christmas story continues when we are able to declare as Jesus declared in Matthew 8 that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are healed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.
The core message of the Gospel and the Christmas story is the blind would see, the lame would walk, the leper and outcast would be healed, the deaf would hear, the dead would be raised to life, the lost found and saved and the good news would be preached to the poor. We carry around in us, in our hearts and lives, the Christmas story.
But do we live out the Christmas story?
If we do not tell this story and live out this Christmas story through our actions, we fail in Gods mandate.
Ask yourself – who needs to hear the promise of Hope, goodwill and peace?
Think about who in your life is deaf, unable to hear the truth about their brokenness?
Who in your life is blind – blinded by riches and power or poverty and pain?
Who in your life is an outcast shunned by society?
Who is dead in their soul, hardened by all that is around them?
Who is poor in spirit?
Live out the story of Christmas. Let the message of hope and goodwill, grace and forgiveness reverberate through your life, that others may see and believe.
God bless and a blessed Christmas to you and your loved ones.
Pastor Philip Stoneman ( Community Chaplain)