Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given”
Galatians 4:4, “When the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman”
The indescribable splendor of “the glory of the Lord” was enough to bring fear to the lowly shepherds. Those men on the quiet slopes near Bethlehem were startled not only by the brilliant light but also by the announcement of a Savior born in that little town. The studding proclamation was accompanied by a great number of the heavenly host praising God!
My beloved, the marvel of Christmas is that the Maker of the mountains took His first breath as a baby. The one who framed the universe assumed human flesh so He could save us. The incarnation is the astounding combination of who descended from heaven to earth, how He arrived, and why He came.
“For by Him all things were created … And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist … For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, … having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Colossians 1:16-20).
When Jesus took His first breath on earth, a loving promise of God the Father was fulfilled. The Christ-child whom the angels announced and the shepherds proclaimed had come to die. The baby in the manger was “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation (Colossians 1:15), “in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (v. 14).
On Christmas Eve 1932, Robert McGimsey attended a midnight church service in New York City and then headed back to his one-room apartment. As he walked the final blocks, he passed the open doors of private clubs where people were shouting and swearing and singing. Others were so drunk they had passed out on the sidewalk.
What a strange way to celebrate the birth of the most perfect Person who ever lived on this earth, McGimsey thought. We seem to have missed the whole significance of His life. That night McGimsey wrote his thoughts on the back of an envelope. These words, which were written like the spirituals he had loved growing up in the southern United States, flowed out of his heart:
Sweet little Jesus Boy,
They made You be born in a manager,
Sweet little Holy Child, didn’t know who You was.
Didn’t know You’d come to save us, Lord,
To take our sins away.
Our eyes were blind, we couldn’t see,
We didn’t know who You was.
The song offers an apology to the Christ-child for not recognizing Him when He came to this earth. But every year gives us an opportunity to look again at Jesus’ birth with new eyes of understanding and acceptance. Will we recognize and honor Him as our Lord and King this Christmas?
How fitting, then, that we pause at this season to praise God for the marvelous gift of His love! Let’s thank Him today that there was born “a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). Have you embraced Christ as your Savior and received the gift of eternal life that He offers to you? If not, there is no better time than today.
God’s gift to a dying world is the Life-Giving Savior.