Few things are more tragic than taking Christmas in stride. Its spirit and magic, that alluring sense of supernatural goodness, are not just for children, but also for grownups; or should I say, “Especially for the grownups.”

There is something here so remarkable that pagan astrologers made a long, arduous journey westward to discover what it was. Something so important was in the offing that a wicked king commanded the slaughter of innocents. Something was so unusual that shepherds, who thought they’d seen it all, were filled with great fear, then left their flocks in haste to find this newborn baby — and then couldn’t keep quiet. “And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them” (Lk. 2:18).

That great wonder was worth announcing with angelic host; worth telling everyone who would listen. That wonder found its full expression in this: “unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord”. (Lk. 2:11)

Not only is this the Advent of the long-awaited Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One of whom God’s people had pined and prophets opined, but this was – this is “the Lord.” God himself has come. Here, finally, after centuries of waiting, is the true Immanuel. Here is “God with us” (Matt. 1:23).

It’s news too spectacular to say all at once. Day after day comes God’s wisdom, God’s Truth from this child. His daily words and actions would reveal piece by piece that this man of flesh and blood somehow shares the divine identity of “the Lord” of Israel and of the nations. In the Gospels of His disciples have come story after story progressively revealing more, that this one who is so manifestly man is also truly God.

This Word who “became flesh” (Jn. 1:14) is the same Word who was in the beginning with God, and was God, and all things were made through him (Jn. 1:1-3). This is the great spectacle for those shepherds and magi, and it’s the wonder we ourselves, who have been blessed by this truth, should aspire to taste again each Christmas. If we as adults should lose the joy and wonder of Christmas, then we will also lose the peace and the power of the Holy Spirit given by our Father through His Son that we might know God’s love forever; our only hope for “peace on earth, good will toward all.”

May this Christmas Season and the New Year ahead, find you joyful and blessed by
the “Babe in a Manger”. –Pastor Terry

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LETTER TO THE CHIMES --- December 2017