God's Gift to Us

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Lesli NolenBy Lesli Nolen

Published December 2011

In this, more than any other season we are reminded of the gift that has been given to us. The gift from God whose rescue mission transported him from the throne of glory to the heart of humanity. A gift I won’t exchange, refund or return.

But the story out of Luke 2 doesn’t start there. It actually began in the beginning of time. It began long before Christ was born in the stable. It began when God created the heavens and earth.

God created light and darkness. He created the sky, the land, the oceans, seed bearing plants and he placed the stars and called them by name. He created the birds, fish and livestock. Then God said, “Let us make man in our image…” (Genesis 1:26). Us being the key word there. God was speaking to himself, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Jesus was there when the heavens and earth were being created. He was there with God in the very beginning.

Have you ever thought about that? Have you ever thought about just how much he sacrificed to give us eternal life? He was infinite in the heavens and then was confined to the womb for nine months. He was born to a carpenter, not to a scholar. He held the universe in his hands, and was in the company of angels.

He left all that for the company of killers and thieves. He knew they would spit in his face. He knew they would mock him. He knew they would crucify him. He left the most high of high to be at the lowest of low because He chose us. Although it began long ago the Christmas Story is still a story to be shared.

The Birth of Jesus; Luke 2:1-20

1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register.

4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.

6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ, the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14    “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
       and on earth peace to those on
       whom his favor rests.”

15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen which were just as they had been told.

From the mosaics at St John’s, made by James Powell and Sons of the Whitefriars Foundry, London, between 1888 and 1915.

So as this season begins remember the story that actually began with the beginning of time. Christ was there when God began his good works, then he left his Father, walked the earth, died and was resurrected. But most importantly he did it all for us.

“Your soul was more important than his blood. Your eternal life was more important than his earthly life. Your place in heaven was more important to him than his place in heaven, so he gave up his place so you could have yours.” (Max Lucado)

Because of this Christmas is the reason for the season. It’s a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

From my family to yours--may you have a very blessed Christmas season!

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