"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty god, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6
To try and write something new about Christmas is beyond my ability. But there is something about the Christmas Story that never grows old. I'm so thankful for The Christmas Story.
We think of the circumstances of Jesus' birth. They are very important because His incarnation is the foundation of the Christian Faith . Had He been born an ordinary man, even though a good man, He could never had become our Savior. Sinful man can be saved only by the Sinless Man, and this Sinless Man could not have been born in the usual way. God intervened supernaturally to provide a lost and dying race with One who is able to redeem us from all our transgressions.
God sent an angel to Mary with a very special message. She was to bring the Savior of mankind into the world. It was Gabriel that brought the message to her. It is interesting to me that God did not choose someone from the nation's capital, Jerusalem, to be the mother of the Messiah. He went outside the religious establishment and chose one who lived in a place far removed from that part of the nation.
Mary did not understand a lot of things. She was already betrothed to Joseph. Bethrotal was as binding as marriage. Mary's reaction to this announcement by Gabriel reflects her godly, humble nature.
She was to have a son and she was to call His name Jesus. (Mary was not even free to name her own child.) But Gabriel began to tell her that Jesus meant Joshua, meaning "Jehovah saves." Mary learned that she was to bear a special Child and His greatness could not be compared with that of any others who had ever lived. His Name would be exalted above any other name in heaven and earth.
"He shall be Great, He shall be called the Son of the Highest and God will give Him the throne of David."
Jesus' virgin birth, through the agency of the Holy Ghost, is something beyond our ability to fully comprehend. Yet, His coming to earth as a babe is something with which we can identify. We, who have children know the process of growth and development that took place through the years. But perhaps we have not stop to consider the significance of Jesus coming as an infant. By doing so, Jesus fully identified even with the earliest of human experiences. Jesus knows what it is to be human. He understands the struggles we face. And because He understands, He is able to help us in our times of difficulty.
I'm so glad for a young maiden, Mary, that was willing to go through whatever came. She put her reputation on the line. She went through the years with Jesus - knowing she had a responsibility in raising Him. She suffered heartache and sorrow and felt pain just like we do. I have often wondered what Mary's thoughts must have been as Jesus grew up. She knew He came to earth with a purpose in view. I know she has been lifted up as a saint.
I'm not trying to minimize the part she played as the Mother of our Savior, but she surely is not the one to pray to. Roman Catholic theology teaches that Mary, herself, was full of grace and is now the giver of grace to others. Wrong! Mary was the recipient of grace, not the giver. She was "highly favored " as the one that God used. Highly favored in Ephesians 1:6 literally means "made us acceptable" or "graced us".
Her high favor and praise are the result of God's grace being extended to her.
In dealing with Mary - God was saying that He would go to them that sought Him. Those who fear Him enjoy His mercy
It is still the same today. He comes to where we are and lifts us to where He is.
Thank God for His faithfulness especially during this Christmas season when we celebrate His birth. Keep you focus on the real meaning of Christmas. Like the song writer,
Merry Christmas All Year Long. Wrap the gift of me and place it under the tree.