Perhaps the reason our culture, even today, turns its head toward Bethlehem in December is due to the theologically rich music that we sing. Many who do not believe the Christmas story sing the Christmas story every year. What we are celebrating is the incarnation of Jesus Christ. God, revealed in flesh. May you be renewed with the celebration again this year.
Human, and More
13 As my vision continued that night, I saw someone like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, honor, and sovereignty over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternal—it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed.
The Progressive Revelation of Scripture
The exaltation of Jesus comes by way of the humiliation of the cross.
19 For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, 20 and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.
Jesus replied, “I assure you that when the world is made new and the Son of Man sits upon his glorious throne, you who have been my followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
29 “Immediately after the anguish of those days, ‘the sun will be darkened, the moon will give no light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.’ 30 And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.”
Christmas Worship Celebration
The Tears of Rachel
13 After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” 14 That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, 15 and they stayed there until Herod’s death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: “I called my Son out of Egypt.” 16 Herod was furious when he realized that the wise men had outwitted him. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, based on the wise men’s report of the star’s first appearance. 17 Herod’s brutal action fulfilled what God had spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: 18 “A cry was heard in Ramah— weeping and great mourning. Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted, for they are dead.”
The Four Themes of Human History
The redemptive story of scripture is the redemptive story of sorrow.
16 Leaving Bethel, Jacob and his clan moved on toward Ephrath. But Rachel went into labor while they were still some distance away. Her labor pains were intense. 17 After a very hard delivery, the midwife finally exclaimed, “Don’t be afraid—you have another son!” 18 Rachel was about to die, but with her last breath she named the baby Ben-oni (which means “son of my sorrow”). The baby’s father, however, called him Benjamin (which means “son of my right hand”). 19 So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).
Because of sin, the world still mourns its exile.
22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.
Every wait for Christmas is a reminder of our wait for restoration.
15 This is what the Lord says:
“A cry is heard in Ramah—
deep anguish and bitter weeping.
Rachel weeps for her children,
refusing to be comforted—
for her children are gone.”
16 But now this is what the Lord says:
“Do not weep any longer,
for I will reward you,” says the Lord.
“Your children will come back to you
from the distant land of the enemy.
17 There is hope for your future,” says the Lord.
“Your children will come again to their own land.
3 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
The Infinite Infant
18 This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly. 20 As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: 23 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” 24 When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. 25 But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.
The struggle is real—but so is the promise of God’s presence
“…..and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”
Oh come now hail His arrival
The God of creation
Royalty robed in the flesh He created
Jesus the maker has made Himself known
All hail the infinite infant God
“And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
The struggle is real—but so is God’s understanding
The One who had no start and knows no end
Became confined in time and tense
The Everlasting God The Great I Am
In the mercy of a mother's hands
…..Embraced a baby's mind and now I can know my God
…..Embraced our finite eyes and now we can see our God
This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.
The struggle is real—but God is with us through the people around us
1 Corinthians 12:12
The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:24b-26
24 So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.