I know that you all know the Christmas story very well and that you could tell it yourself, but have you ever stopped to ponder upon the wondrous details of this event? As we enter the busyness of what is known as the Christmas season and before you get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I want to remind you of a few of those details from the Word of God that we sometimes fail to really think about and consider.
Where does this greatest story even begin? Does it begin with Mary and Joseph in Nazareth? Does it begin with Zacharias and Elizabeth in Juda? Does it begin in Matthew or is it Luke where the story begins? Well, this greatest story begins in the book of John where the Bible declares in John 1:1-5 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” Without this passage in John, we would not know that Jesus is indeed one hundred percent God and one hundred percent man all at the same time. Verse fourteen explains “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father.) full of grace and truth.” You see while we certainly celebrate the physical birth of Jesus it is important to note that we are not celebrating His beginning into existence but His beginning as mankind on earth.
While this remarkable story begins in John chapter one, it continues in the beginning of Luke’s gospel in the first chapter. Here we learn about the angel of the Lord appearing to Zacharias to tell him that Elizabeth was scheduled to have a baby after many years of childlessness. Then about six months later Mary was informed that she, who had never had any intimate relations, was going to give birth to the most special child to ever be born, Jesus. I absolutely love Mary’s response to Elizabeth as she confirms the message from the angel of the Lord that Elizabeth was with child, Mary the soon to be mother of the Christ child exclaimed, “My soul doth magnify the Lord.” Think of those words: “My soul doth magnify the Lord.” As you ponder on those words, I want you to think about something else. What would it take in your life for you to magnify the Lord in your own soul? I hope that this Christmas season you will do as Mary did and learn to magnify the Lord in all that you do.
The greatest story ever told is so much more than Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus lying in manger, angels singing, and shepherds coming to worship. From the beginning of John chapter one, all the way to Matthew chapter two, the Bible offers to us an amazing perspective of how deep the events of Christ’s coming to earth came to be.
As we celebrate His coming to earth once again this month, may we be mindful of God’s goodness to us. May we not miss the purpose of His coming was so that we could partake in the unmerited gift of eternal life; that is the greatest gift we could ever receive. If you have never trusted Christ as your savior, I implore you to not allow another day to pass without you having God’s perfect gift in your life.
Pastor Aaron Smith