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The greatest Christmas gift: 'For to us a child is born, to us a son is given'

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Is it really all about me and all about us?

We need. We want. We covet. We sin.

"Sin" may not be a politically correct word, but it has been part of the human experience for thousands of years. Sin is when we give things a higher order in our lives than God and people. Sin is when our life is dominated by self -> self-interests, self-direction and self-serving.

God created us with free will and one of the consequences of free will is the capacity to sin. And when the weight of sin became too great, God sent His Son, Jesus, to earth.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given. (Isaiah 9:6a)

God determined the best way to defeat sin is to reenact creation (Genesis 1), except He did it supernaturally. One of us – a teenage girl named Mary – became pregnant by the Holy Spirit and endured the pains and pleasures of being an expectant mother. (Read Matthew 1:18 and Luke 1:26-37 in The Bible.)

Why did God choose Mary to be the mother of Jesus? The best answer is found in her response to the angel’s message:

  • “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. (Luke 1:38)

I hope and pray that each of us can reach the level of faith that Mary exhibited in being the mother of Jesus. As The Bible records, she would be a witness to His ministry, His execution and His resurrection.

In addition to faith, love was exhibited in Mary and her husband. Joseph was an itinerant carpenter, who could have easily divorced Mary when he learned she was pregnant. But he was one of us and understood that God’s ways are not always in alignment with our ways.

One of the many verses in The Bible that reinforces my love and faith in God is:

  • “The LORD is righteous in all His ways and faithful in all He does.” (Psalm 145:16)

We sing in our worship services that love came down from Heaven through the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. John 3:16-17 is inscribed in our hearts and in our minds:

  • “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

Hope must never die, so God implanted predictions in The Bible on the “who, what, where, when and how” of His Son’s birth. He then arranged for a seldom recognized group of men – shepherds – to confirm the birth of a Savior. (Luke 2:8-20)

God the Creator also rearranged the stars so they would direct a company of wise men to make an 800 to1000-mile journey to Israel to welcome a new king. The new king would be known by many names. One of the most significant was “Immanuel”, which means “God with us.” (It can also be spelled “Emmanuel.”)

God had been an advocate for us for centuries. Now through the birth of a savior in Bethlehem, God was with us. Jesus was God in the flesh and He can and does transform people like us for eternity.

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)

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