|Posted on December 5, 2019 at 10:55 AM|
The Christmas story describes the greatest gift of love the world has ever seen. The Father so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son. That gift of love to all mankind so far surpasses our wildest imaginations that we cannot understand its full meaning. But it is clear and simple enough so that even a child can receive it. Of particular note is the angelic announcement to the shepherds saying, “For unto you this day is born in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11). The Father loved us so much he gave the world a Savior, Christ the Lord.
By the time Jesus was born in Bethlehem the world had proven many times over we need a Savior. Beginning with the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden the world had repeatedly shown itself to be opposed to God in every conceivable way. Even his own chosen nation, Israel, had repeatedly turned its back on God in favor of their own futile efforts to save themselves. Blinded by their own achievements in ruling the world, the ancient empires rose and fell ignoring their own Creator and need for his love. But to the lowly shepherds watching their sheep at night God announced his greatest gift to the world.
Anyone who will humble themselves as these lowly shepherds in Israel will realize their need for a Savior. Regardless of our increasing knowledge, technological advances, military might, and political savvy the world is on a path of destruction and misery. So “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). John goes on to reveal that God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world (the world was already condemned) but to save it. Although the world was totally undeserving of anything but annihilation, God gave to us his greatest gift of unconditional love.
The gift of God’s amazing love is what we celebrate at Christmas, first by receiving it ourselves and then by sharing it with others. To receive it ourselves we simply believe “in the name of the only begotten Son”. We believe that baby born in Bethlehem and laid in a manger is the very Son of God, the Savior of the world, the Messiah of Israel, and the Lord of all the earth. We trust him to deliver us personally from the penalty and power of sin and set us free to love others around us. While our celebration may take many forms it centers around all that God has done for us in his only begotten Son, Jesus.
We don’t have to wait on the world to “straighten itself out” in order to have peace on earth. As the angels sang to the shepherds, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace toward men of good will”. Peace on earth to whosoever will believe on the name of the only begotten Son. Merry Christmas.