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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Rediscover Christmas

I first posted this entry during the Christmas season of 2004. I re-read it every year. I post it again this year in the hope that it will reinvigorate someone's--anyone's--interest in the original Christmas Story, or that some reader somewhere will see this "tired old story" from a new perspective as I did when I first put these passages together. Merry Christmas; or, in other words, rejoice in the communion we have with Christ as we celebrate that day when God in heaven became Immanuel--"God Is With Us."

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(Original introduction from December 21, 2004)

The Bible weaves an incredible story from Genesis to Revelation. It is amazing how every piece fits perfectly into the whole. I tried looking at the Christmas story from a different perspective this year, rather than simply reading straight through the first couple chapters of the Gospel of Luke like we evangelicals usually do. We recognize December 25 as the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus, but there is so much more to Christmas than is apparent on the surface.

I urge you to read straight through this post, as strange as its arrangement may look at first, then to get a Bible and read the verses again within the passages that encapsulate them. In so doing, I hope we can rediscover the profound significance of the Christmas story.

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“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:14)

You, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times. (Micah 5:2)

The Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)

“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.” (Luke 1:30-31)

“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20-21)

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:9-10)

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”–which means, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:22-23)

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. (Isaiah 9:2)

“My eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” (Luke 2:30-32)

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

“This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.” (Luke 2:34-35)

“He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1:32-33)

Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. (Isaiah 9:7)

“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us–to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.” (Luke 1:67-75)

And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him. (Luke 2:40)

Merry Christmas and may the grace of Christ be upon you this holiday season.

2 comments:

Dan said...

Brother-in-law: Merry Christmas! I hope you like crappy King Kong remakes from the 70's. (All the gifts can't be good. You've got to expect that sometimes.) I will talk to you soon.

p.s. I had to do a word verification to post this comment but I liked the word I got: "maganted." As in, we intended to buy you the original King Kong, but when we realized it was the wrong movie, we were maganted.

Kapricious T said...

Well, you only had a 2 out of 3 chance of grabbing a GOOD King Kong, so I forgive you.

By the way, my verification word is "scropea," as in, "The 1976 version of King Kong is a piece of scropea."

Don't worry, you know I get some measure of enjoyment out of cheesy movies.

Why are we doing this on my super-serious Christmas Scripture post?