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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Christmas Is A Time To Make Christ Known

I grew up loving Christmas; maybe not for all the right reasons, but Christmas was a big deal in our family. I remember the smells of mother’s cooking, the decorations, watching “Miracle on 34th Street”, the music and the excitement of Christmas morning. There are other things that I remember about Christmas and many that I have forgotten. Is there a certain Christmas you remember more than any other? I think of one Christmas in particular when Deb and I stayed up until 4:00 a.m. on Christmas morning putting together a kitchen set for our two little daughters. They loved it, but on that Christmas I decided that I needed to invest in some battery-powered tools.

It is so easy for Christmas to slip by before we know it, because of all the things we feel obligated to do to create a truly Merry Christmas for ourselves and family. Sometimes the true Spirit of Christmas is lost in our busyness. In this article, I want us to look at Luke 2:15-20 to find counsel for celebrating the miracle of Christmas.

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. (Luke 2:15-16 ESV)

A stable is not often thought of as a likely place to begin a celebration, but this child was no ordinary child. This baby was the “Son of David” (Matthew 15:22), the “Lamb of God” (John 1:29), “Savior” (John 4:14), “Author of life” (Acts 3:15), “Alpha and Omega” (Revelation 1:8), the “Lion of Judah” (Revelation 5:5), the “Bright Morning Star” (Revelation 22:16), the “Word of God” (Revelation 19:13), the “Son of God” (Mark 1:1), and the “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (Revelation 19:16)!

Celebrating Christmas is not about all the parties, presents, and Christmas Trees; it is about Jesus Christ and celebrating Him. Jesus is much more than what he appears to be as He lies in the manger on that first Christmas morning.

And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. (Luke 2:17 ESV)

Christmas is a wonderful opportunity to make Christ known. This is what the shepherds did. Glorifying God and Jesus Christ is the purpose for which we were made. This is where you will find true Christmas joy.

And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. (Luke 2:18 ESV)

We can see here that these basically uneducated men from a low social class made those who heard them wonder. What will be the testimony of your Christmas this year? Will men wonder about Christ because of the way you celebrate Christmas? Meditate on the true meaning and story of the first Christmas so that you may share it with others.

But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. (Luke 2:19 ESV)

Mary treasured the memories of Jesus’ birth. She thought on these things with a serious mind and heart. We too should remember Christmas is about God coming into our time and our world to redeem His people. Christmas is a time of grace that should be a part of our living our lives all year-long.

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. (Luke 2:20 ESV)

What a wonderful statement! Only one visit with the newborn Christ; then sharing the “good news” with others, and returning to their flocks where they spent the rest of their watch praising God. I am reminded here of the first question in the Westminster Shorter Catechism: Q. 1. What is the chief end of man? A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

How will your Christmas this year encourage you and others to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever? Christmas and every other day of the year, for that matter, should be a time of glorifying and praising God for the gift of His Son. Christmas is a wonderful time to praise God for His free gift of Grace. It is appropriate on every day and especially during the Christmas season that we share the message of His gift of grace with others.

I pray that you will have a God Glorifying Christmas this year!

Samuel

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