“The Heart Of The Christmas Gospel”
December 23, 2016
A photo of the Living Nativity scene at the Christmas Spectacular show at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. We took this photo from a concert we attended several years ago. The show included the Christmas story along with Scripture readings and traditional Christmas hymns. Hopefully that has not changed!
“Good News” (Part 5)
“The Heart Of The Christmas Gospel”
Listen to this message on your audio player.
“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:10-12).
1) “For today in the city of David.” This places the birth of Christ in space and time. “Today” was the time and “in the city of David” the place. We only have one physical birthday on the day we were born but each year we may celebrate that event by letting others know ‘Today’s my birthday.'”
2) “There has been born for you a Savior.” Prior to the birth of Jesus an angel assured Joseph concerning the mysterious events that were to accompany Mary’s pregnancy and unborn child, “He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). What a gift our Savior is! This was the fulfillment of a prophecy made by Isaiah some 700 years earlier, “Behold, the virgin shall be with Child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name, Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”
3) “Who is Christ.” Christ is the Greek word for Messiah. What these shepherds heard from the angel was the fulfillment of a long-awaited promise – their Messiah had come! Is it any wonder that they said to one another following this glorious announcement, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”
4) “The Lord.” Even at His birth He is the Lord which means, “Master, Supreme Potentate”. The tiny baby in the manger’s Lordship extends not only over the universe that He created and now sustains, but over all those He redeems. Musically this is expressed in a line in the great Christmas hymn, “Christ, the everlasting Lord.” The Biblical call to faith includes a submission to His Lordship. Sadly many times the contemporary call to faith either ignores or downplays His Lordship. But Peter directed the early followers of Christ to, “set apart Christ as Lord” in their hearts and we must do the same.
5) This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” From the announcement of a supernatural visitation the angel ends his announcement with a return to the natural. They will find the divine baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. The sign is one of identity, authenticity and humility.
This Christmas, let’s resoundingly rejoice as we contemplate, acknowledge, and celebrate the birth of our Savior, Christ and Lord. When we do so it is only natural to eagerly submit our whole life to Him as our Lord.
Have a joy-filled Christmas,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Special Year-end Financial Appeal: We want to thank all who have financially supported our ministry this past year. We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support at this time but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. We typically see a spike in giving at the end of the year for which we are most thankful.
Our ministry labor is comprised of half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive a fee. Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each would provide half of our ministry expenses and income.
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Stephen & Brooksyne
Each year we share several online resources that we have used over the years and that may be a blessing to families and churches during this Christmas season.
“In Remembrance of Me” pdf This is a passion-filled Scripture reading for two adults. Brooksyne and I have used this reading with great receptivity during Christmas Eve services over the years. We suggest, if possible, a musical background as the message is read. It is also a great lead-in to a Communion service. It should be thoroughly practiced and read with great feeling. Here’s a great Communion Hymn for Christmas (Video)
“When Christ Was Born” pdf This is an adaptation to the tune of “How Great Thou Art”. It’s a great song to sing as a congregation since most are familiar with and love the tune.
We have also posted two Christmas carol quizzes here (scroll down).