Isaiah 9:2-7 reads “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as they are glad when they divide the spoil. For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.”
Merry Christmas friends. For many Christians around the world December 25 is when we celebrate Christmas, the birth of the Saviour for all mankind. But also, for many in the church December 25 marks the conclusion of a journey and observance that has transpired over the last month, the season of Advent.
Advent is a season of great expectation. It is also a journey that began more than two thousand years ago—following the star of Bethlehem and discovering the light of the world. Advent is a time when we not only focus and reflect on Christ’s coming to earth on that first Christmas long ago, but also His eventual triumphant return to earth to complete God’s ultimate work of redemption.
It’s amazing to think how much God really loves us. Considering that, I would like you all during this special season to imagine God addressing YOU, and all humanity with this impassioned plea:
I am so deeply in love with you. I will come all the way to where you are to become human, made up of flesh and bones. I will do it all, and all you have to do is believe me – I love you the way you are, love you enough to become one of you, and I love you to death.
In Jesus, God’s Amazing Love comes to and for each one of us. It is this Jesus, born as THE expression of God’s amazing love that we are asked to follow and serve. God’s amazing love for all of us … asks us all to do something in response, and that is to believe, to trust, to follow, to serve, to live out that amazing love of God’s for the world by how we live our lives.
For without Jesus coming to earth and becoming like one of us, God is incomprehensible, inconceivable, and inexplicable. Furthermore, without this night, without this birth, without Jesus, God is unseen, unknown, and unreachable. But because of this night, this birth, in Jesus, God’s amazing love has come booming into our world, whether we are ready for it or not. Our task, regardless of who we are is to respond to Him.
In Jesus, God’s amazing love comes to and for us all, bringing us hope. Promising that no matter who we are or what we have done, in Jesus, in God’s amazing love we are held, embraced, healed, comforted, challenged and changed.
Pastor Sean Angel