During the holiday season, I can’t help but be moved by thoughts of Jesus’ birth. Not because it was the “reason for the season” or a “birthday” in the worldly sense, but because it was when the long awaited promise of the new covenant of grace was presented as blessed Bread from Heaven. Just think of the theological significance of God placing baby Jesus in a feeding trough within the little town of Bethlehem, which meant “House of Bread” in Hebrew.
Yet, there are two sides to God’s divine providence. First, Jesus is living bread to those who upon realizing their starving sin sickness, begin to hunger and thirst for righteousness (John 6:51). Yet, He says those who are whole don’t need a physician, only the sick, and that He doesn’t call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (Matt.9: 12, 13). He also said to go and learn what this means, which may seem to be a no-brainer for believers, but the self-righteous who haven’t had their understanding opened by God to realize the extent of their fallen condition, can’t even begin to grasp this truth.
The truth is that Jesus becomes a sword to the wicked, but food to the weary who mourn over their sin against God. In Matt. 10:34-36 Jesus says, “think not that I am come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword”……”And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” Wow, not something we’d like to think about around the holidays, with all the family gatherings! Yet, Jesus makes it clear that He only brings peace to those who are His, and those who aren’t will be turned against us. Jesus does the dividing, for we can only be united by the true gospel, not by false religion. And all of this is a revelation so spectacular that even angels desire to look into it (1Pet.1:12, 13, Gal.1:6-8).
So while appearing to common field shepherds the night of Jesus’ birth, rather than “high society,” the heavenly angels gave all “Glory to God in the Highest!” Far beyond a commercialized celebration that exalts the basic “goodness” of man. And rather than prompting people to “be good” for “goodness sake,” they brought tidings of great joy and peace to God’s fallen (not so good) people, from every tongue, tribe and nation, by revealing GOD’S GOOD will toward all the recipients of His mercy.
How great is our God to regard the weak and lowly spiritual state of His people by granting them what He commands. For what God requires, Christ provided thru His virgin birth, virtuous life, vicarious death, victorious resurrection and vigilant intercession! Praise be to God who is worthy of all honor and year-round celebration of the highest caliber! Words fail me to express the magnitude of God’s grace through the Lord Jesus Christ. His free gift far exceeds all the material gifts in the world.
So dear friend, apart from this gracious work of God, you can never know the power and joy of the true gospel and the true meaning of peace (Eph.2:14-17). And no amount of “kumbaya” singing, Christmas caroling, shopping, feasting, decorating, giving, getting, church attending, candle lighting or card sending will ever make up for it in all eternity. Therefore, by the grace of God, along with the Lord Jesus Christ, thru the Holy Spirit, I plead with you to lay down any work-righteous, superstitious, religious idols and seek first the kingdom of God and His peace, which are NOT of this world (John 14:27, 16:33, 18:36).
Sis Lee Anne —-Readers with questions or comments are free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org