“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.”
It is a cold December day, yet the warmth of the blessed Advent season is here and all around us! Yes, this time of remembrance and celebration the birth of the Messiah, the Christ, when God, the Son became man dwelt among us, the Light of the world. He would be called Jesus, for this was God with us and the One who would save us.
He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem of Judea over 2,000 years ago. And because there was no room for them in the inn, He was born in a stable while Joseph and the animals looked on.
My heart beats faster and I am filled feelings of unworthiness flooding my senses. and yet a rush of awe swells within me.
And just like the shepherds in the field watching their flocks by night, so I imagine I am also in a field on this cold winter night.
They saw the light of the star hovering over Bethlehem above the stable where the baby Jesus was delivered and now in the arms of the warmth of His mother, Mary.
And so I run, trying to catch-up with the shepherds. who are going to Bethlehem to see this thing the angel proclaimed.
The holy prophets of the Old Testament spoke of this miraculous birth that would day “come to pass” according to the Scriptures.
Hundreds of years before this amazing event was to take place, Isaiah proclaimed, “Therefore, the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”
God with us.
I see a light in the distance and I run toward it; I stumble and fall, and then He picks me back up! And I keep running toward the light, the One who is the Light of my life.
I know where He was to be born, for the prophet Micah wrote: “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
We arrive three together, the shepherds and I am because Micah told us where and the light guides our steps.
There, in a shabby stable He lies, wrapped in swaddling cloths, in a manger for a bed, with His parents and the animals and us, looking at Him, on our knees, and tears flooding down out faces. There was room for God this glorious night in that stable, and like that stable, we make room for Him in our hearts.
The Jews were not expecting a poor little baby but a king! Like David! But they missed it all, for here was the King, like David, who would one day rule in Jerusalem over all Israel!
From this baby Jesus, and through Him, who would have believed that I can put on His armor and withstand the evil and wickedness and lies and deceit of Satan and his demons and the world?
Who would have thought that I can stand in His truth because I have His breastplate of righteousness?
That in Him and by Him I take hold of His shield of faith, blocking away the arrows of the enemy?
And that I can stand forgiven with the helmet of salvation, my feet standing firm on the Gospel of peace: for I have the “sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God”?
From a tiny baby? Who would have believed such a thing?
So here I run into “everlasting,” to the Light of the world. the Light of life, the Savior, my Lord and my God.
When God gave to the world His only begotten Son because of His love, He opened the door of salvation to those who would believe-to everlasting life and forgiveness of sins.
And thus He opened the fields that we might run to Him this Advent season, again and again and again, and that we might follow the Light that began at Bethlehem on a cold winter’s night.
Let us pray:
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we come to you in all humbleness with nothing but ourselves, and we bow down before Thy awesome presence, bringing only our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving for the birth of Jesus, Thy Son, Thy only begotten Son, so long ago.
We pray for the wonderment of all things that come from You, and your amazing grace,in love, which has saved us sinners by faith.
We pray, Lord, that in this time of holy Advent, that a candle of light may be lit in our hearts to feel the warmth of His presence and that we, as believers in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, may likewise shine to all the world and be a beacon of hope as a light that shines in the darkness that may lead people everywhere to Jesus, the Light of the world.
This we pray in the name of Jesus Christ.