And so 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.”
Luke 2:10-11 (NASB)
Series Focus: “The Hope of Christmas”
Have you ever held a new baby? The awe, the wonder, the miracle…the smell! The little one, so full of promise, hope, and life rests solely in the hands of the caregivers. As the baby grows, the future possibilities are endless, yet specifically ordained by God!
I remember bringing our first baby home. Terrified I would fail this little life completely dependent upon me, I could hardly breathe. The responsibility not just to meet his physical needs, but also his educational, emotional, and spiritual growth overwhelmed me. Knowing I would fail him, I turned to God. In prayer, I dedicated our baby to the Lord, trusting His plan for our son’s life.
The miracle of Christmas, God giving His only Son as a newborn baby, causes me to reflect on the promise and purpose of each new life, and specifically of Jesus’ life. At His birth, the heavens opened and the angels proclaimed the praise of the Newborn King! Shepherds heard the angelic choruses and the star guided the wise men to Him. Men bowed down in worship as the Desire of Nations lay in a manger in a Bethlehem stable.
The Christmas Carol, Angels From the Realms of Glory, tells the story of Christ’s birth: the angels singing creation’s story; the shepherds in the fields by night; and the wise men following the natal star. The verses move from telling the story of old to declaring the future purpose and promise in Christ. Verse 6 sings:
Though an infant now we view Him,
He shall fill his Father’s throne,
Gather all the nations to Him;
Every knee shall then bow down:
Come and worship! Come and worship!
Worship Christ, the newborn King.
Can you imagine the anxiety Mary may have felt as a young mother, let alone being the mother of the Son of God! As she held and nursed her baby boy, she gazed upon the face of God. The weight of responsibility she must have felt. Yet, she trusted God to fulfill the prophecy shared with her by the Angel of the Lord, as recorded in Luke 1:30-33 (NASB):
And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”
And so Jesus was born. The heavenly army of angels appeared, singing praise to God, and the shepherds traveled to Bethlehem to see and worship the Christ-child. Their arrival to worship Jesus was a confirmation to Mary and Joseph that their babe in the manger was indeed the Savior, Christ the Lord. Luke goes on:
Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them. (Luke 2:19-20 NASB).
In quiet trust, Mary mothered the Son of God—the Word made flesh. She cared for Him as a newborn baby while knowing He would reign forever as King upon the throne of David and over the house of Jacob. Meanwhile, the angels, the shepherds, and the wise men worshiped this infant King, giving glory to God in the highest. Jesus, Immanuel, had come to earth. God the Father had sent God the Son to dwell with us.
Christmas carols tell the story of the birth of Jesus and share the Hope of Christmas from generation to generation. Each of us may have a different “favorite” carol. Yet, the focus of each song is the same: God gave His Son to come to earth as a newborn baby to become the Savior for you and for me. The story doesn’t end with the infant in the manger. No, that precious little boy-Child grows under the guidance of His parents and the Holy Spirit to fill His Father’s throne and reign as Christ the King!
Come and worship! Come and worship! Worship Christ, the newborn King!
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: Matthew 1-2; Luke 1-2; John 1:14