No doubt many Christians will be recounting the familiar birth narratives in the next few days. We may even recall and reread the many passages of prophecy found in many parts of the Old Testament. Much joy, and peace, and hope are found in these parts of God’s Word.
But today, with just 1 day remaining before we celebrate Christmas, I find myself basking in 1st Corinthians, chapter 1. Not sure why God led me to this segment of Scripture earlier today ~ but I do know what He has confirmed to my heart. Before I get to that, let me give you the passage: “Brothers and sisters, consider what you were when God called you to be Christians. Not many of you were wise from a human point of view. You were not in powerful positions or in the upper social classes. But God chose what the world considers nonsense to put wise people to shame. God chose what the world considers weak to put what is strong to shame. God chose what the world considers ordinary and what it despises—what it considers to be nothing—in order to destroy what it considers to be something. As a result, no one can brag in God’s presence. You are partners with Christ Jesus because of God. Jesus has become our wisdom sent from God, our approval, our holiness, and our ransom from sin. As Scripture says, “Whoever brags must brag about what the Lord has done” (1 Corinthians 1, vv.26-31, GWT).
I simply find it amazing what God has accomplished and provided in Jesus Christ. There were great expectations surrounding the Messiah, and for many, many years those expectations soared. There is no doubt that most were hoping for a Conqueror and a King who would overthrow the Romans and establish an earthly kingdom that would reign supreme. The problem was, Jesus didn’t come to do those types of things. That upset some folks (to say the least). Yet, if we are totally honest as we read and saturate on passages like the one above, from 1 Corinthians 1, we also witness how Jesus challenged just about everything in man’s systems and priorities of life. Think of these statements: “…God chose what the world considers nonsense to put the wise people to shame” and “God chose what the world considers weak to put what is strong to shame” and “God chose what the world considers ordinary and what it despises — what it considers to be nothing — in order to destroy what it considers to be something.”
How does that grab you? I know this, it grabs me! It demonstrates just how God works, and acts, and responds. With this, as we look to the Advent of Jesus Christ and His coming, how can we expect anything different? It is humility on display. Mary and Joseph take a whole week to travel 80 miles; the inn is booked up and there is no room inside; a barn would have to suffice; and the baby Jesus is laid in a feeding/watering trough for animals. No fanfare; no public parade; no breaking news alert; no photo-ops.
Christmas is a great time to remind ourselves that God works in marvelous ways: then, now, and He will in the future! Sure, that is often described as “mysterious” by some, and that is accurate because God does operate and execute in ways we cannot fathom or comprehend. Many times it simply confounds us. But the beauty in being confounded is to behold His marvelous works and the majesty of it all, and learn and know Him in new ways. We must ask that He continually increases our faith! – that is Scriptural. And Christmas is miraculous. No matter how old I get or what I am facing or what may be pulling at me ~ Christmas is a precious time and season to remember the One True God Who has come, is here, and Who will come again. Let’s pause and just reflect on all that God has done through sending forth His Son ~ for He has paid the ransom for us and has given new life to all who will believe, receive, and trust Him. That is great news ~ the best news ~ we could ever receive!
Merry Christmas to you and your family, and many blessings for a Jesus-filled 2014! Let us celebrate and rejoice, not just on Christmas Day, but in each moment that God so graciously gives us!