On earth peace, good will toward men

Luke 2:6-35 — Baby Jesus has grown up, OK?!

Imagine celebrating your birthday the way Christmas is celebrated. We would hang up pictures of you in your crib — to show we know who this is all about, you know. Generally, though, we would disregard you in favor of other festive and seasonal activities. If anyone would get around to remembering you, it would be to reminisce about your birth and baby days. We would give each other gifts we think we would enjoy…and maybe give you a baby rattle. You would probably say “bah humbug” on birthdays, at least yours.

In the US, the birthdays of certain Presidents rate a national holiday of sorts. That is appropriate for any country to do. But how inspirational would it be for the citizenry to remember these men only as newborn infants?

Has Baby Jesus grown up yet? Look around you with some attention to the obvious details, and you would think the answer is negative. Any alleged celebration of Jesus’ birth mostly takes us back to His babyhood and infrequently focuses on His adulthood.

Has the Baby grown up yet? Yes! And let our remembrance focus on that! Let’s make this season a celebration of His accomplishments — past, present and future. And let’s make our gifts to Him worthy (at least in a minuscule way) of His maturity and accomplishments.

The Baby is grown up now! So let’s get beyond the baby stuff this Christmas!

Who is this Person we should celebrate? Savior! Yes, indeed. I suspect most who do remember Him this season remember and honor Him as the divine Savior of the world. This Man is the great and only Rescuer, Redeemer and Restorer. Without Him, no one has any hope. With Him, no one needs any other hope. He is the Savior!

Period?

Often, yes. So many who appreciate Him as Savior do not daily take the steps that make sure their own salvation. So many gladly accept Him as their Savior with little follow-up thought and action on expanding and deepening the relationship. They accept much but give little in return.

Who is this Person we should celebrate? Lord!

Ooooops!

We like the “Baby in the Manger” and the “Savior of the World” dimensions of Jesus Christ. We even have Christmas for the baby part and Easter for the Saviour part. But what about “King of Kings and Lord of Lords”? I wonder if we have no days left for such remembrances. Surely we must have an empty, unallotted season yet that we could reserve for His Lordship.

Let’s make Today that special day that focuses on the Lordship of Jesus. This shouldn’t be too difficult to remember. Every day Today comes around, we’ll remember and live the Lordship of Jesus.

And the special season will be the season of our lives.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and a Blessed Today!

(Adapted by the author from Good Tidings of Great Joy.)

Babies don’t belong in mangers. They belong where people sleep — in a bed, in the inn.

This Baby, though, belonged in a manger, in a stall.

He belonged there, not because the innkeeper and all his guests despised Him, but because the Baby and His Father put others first.

Please, read the rest: Others First

On earth peace, good will toward men

How should the birth of Jesus affect our own living? It should make such a difference as exists between light and darkness, between good and evil, between self and selflessness.

Jesus marked the Way, chosing the lowest route. The birth of Jesus should be more than a historical event to us. His birth ought to stimulate us to walk that lowest route. He said, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”

What did it cost Jehovah to be born as a child named Jesus?

Excerpted from The Birth and Reception of Jesus

This is a good place to slip in a little side note. This post actually “converges” the passages used by two major Sunday School lessons for December 25, 2016:

  • The Messiah Is Born (Luke 2:6-14, 27-35) — Christian Light Publications
  • The Savior Has Been Born (Luke 2:8-20) — international standard lessons
What have you heard and seen during this particular Christmas marathon? Carols, tinkling, programs and “Merry Christmas”? Lights, live nativity scenes, potlucks and gifts? What have you uttered and shown? What have others heard from and seen in you? I wonder where the genuine “glorifying and praising God” comes in. We can recite the proper passages and sing the fitting songs, but does it all come from the heart or is it just the mechanical response of a battery-operated robot? God will never be glorified and praised that way! Never!

[…]

If you can’t figure out what to give someone who already “has everything,” why not suggest you both give to someone truly in need? In other words, why not take the personal, lowly, non-commercial approach God took so long ago?

Full piece: The Shepherds

More I wrote on the subject…

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