Archive for December 3rd, 2012

The Mystery and Majesty

December 3rd, 2012

The Mystery and Majesty

This Christmas season will pass, but the Savior changes lives forever.

“We . . were eyewitnesses of His majesty.” 2 Peter 1:16 NKJV.

I love Christmas and celebrating Jesus’ birth. Make no mistake; this is a holy day not a holiday. I love the carols and decorations – lovely nativity sets – the wonder in children’s eyes at the old, old stories – congregations singing “Joy to the World, the Lord is come; Let earth receive her King” – Christmas Eve Communions and Christmas Day dinners with family and friends. I love Christmas.

Most of all, I love the mystery and majesty of Christmas, an event so inexplicable only God could accomplish it. No wonder Mary “pondered all these things in her heart,” and all who heard the shepherds’ eyewitness account, “wondered at their words.” Consider the matchless wonder this miraculous season can bring: a worried king jealous for his throne, wondering shepherds rushing from their flocks, wandering kings with royal gifts from afar, and a worshiping couple left contemplating the angels’ startling pronouncements to them. See Matthew 1:18-25/Luke 1:26-38 NKJV.

Not much remains a mystery anymore. Christmas is, and will remain so. Paul wrote, “Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith: Christ appeared in the flesh . . was seen by angels and was announced to the nations.” 1 Timothy 3:16 NLT. This “great mystery” is: where would the Savior come – to Bethlehem, but not to Rome, and to a stable, but not a throne; and how would the Savior come – an infant miraculously born with our shared humanity, but not as a ruling conqueror; and for whom would the Savior come – for the worst and best among us, sinners all, but not the religious.

And how did this grand introduction to your world occur? “There were shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock. And an angel of the Lord [said] . . ‘Do not be afraid; I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you today a Savior, who is Christ the Lord’ . . and suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.’” Luke 2:8-14 NKJV.

The shepherds could have remained with their flocks, just retelling their stories about angels. Instead, they hurried to become eyewitnesses of the Savior. “When the angels had gone away into Heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us now go and see this . . which the Lord has made known to us.’ And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby lying in a manger.” Read Luke 2:15-20 NKJV. Inevitably, this Christmas season will pass, but the Savior changes lives forever. Then the mystery of His birth becomes the unequalled majesty of His life in your heart.

When the angels have gone away, and inevitably they will; will you be as you were or will you seek a life-changing encounter with the Savior? Christmas is not about the angels’ song; Christmas is about knowing the Savior and sharing His Good News with others. You have not experienced Christmas until you have personally found the One, “born to you this day, a Savior which is Christ the Lord.” This Advent, you can be an “eyewitness of His majesty . . until the Morning Star rises in your heart.” 2 Peter 1:16-19 “To God our Savior . . be glory and majesty both now and forever.” Jude 25 NKJV. Amid celebrations, reflect on the mystery and majesty of a Savior.

My prayer for you today is that your joy is unrestrained and celebration unreserved.

A Postscript: A friend and excellent writer, Dennis Gallaher, decided to publish an Advent Devotional for his Church families and asked me to contribute a number of Christmas devotionals for the book, one of which is today’s EveryDay Life. God With Us is intended for daily readings during Advent, concluding on Christmas Day. It is available for $10 and could be an inspirational tool for your use this Christmas Season, or a beneficial, holiday gift for friends. If interested, email EveryDay Life your request and mailing address, and I will contact you about shipping and payment. Joy to the World!

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