December 2019

I recently read the following piece from Alistair Begg.  I thought it was a good summary of the story of the incarnation of Christ, and what it teaches us about Him.

“Most of us have a favorite carol.  Mine is Once In Royal David’s City.  I wish they would play it in our local mall - because it takes us to the heart of Christmas...

Here are four reasons why I love this carol.

First, it begins with history: “Once in royal David’s city.” 

That means the events it describes happened in a time-frame.  And they happened in a geographical location - a city where the greatest Old Testament king of Israel, David, grew up: Bethlehem.  There was a point in history when this event actually occurred, in a real place and at a real time.  Luke and other Gospel writers did not set out to write stories - they set out to record history.  Have you understood that the Gospels are not fables - that they are facts?

Second, this carol takes us unashamedly to divinity: “He came down from earth to heaven.” 

The second person of the Trinity - the eternal, Creator God - came from heaven and stepped into time and lived in His creation.  The baby born in Bethlehem that first Christmas night was God - God moving into the neighborhood.  If Jesus were just a remarkable man, or a prophet, or a great teacher, then we will stumble here.  If that’s who we’ve determined He was, then we will have issues with the virgin birth.  We will struggle with the idea of miracles.  We will be unable to believe in the resurrection.  But once we acknowledge that the baby born in Bethlehem was God, then that makes sense of everything we read in the Gospels.  Suddenly, this man walking on water, turning water into wine and feeding five thousand with a boy’s lunch is not only possible, it’s what we’d expect to see, because the Creator has shown up...Divinity entered history.

Third, He entered history as a human.  Christmas is a story of humanity: “He was little, weak and helpless, Tears and smiles like us He knew.” 

This line is often dismissed as Victorian sentimentality.  It’s not.  Babies are helpless.  In fact, adults are often too.  Babies are moved to cry and giggle.  Adults are often too.  God came to earth as a helpless human baby - that is amazing.  And He lived on earth as a real man, experiencing the ups and downs that are part of our lives - that is wonderful. 

Lastly, we see majesty: “And He leads His children on to the place where He has gone.  Not in that poor, lowly stable, with the oxen standing by, we shall see Him, but in heaven, set at God’s right hand on high.”

God became man so that man could live with God.  The baby Jesus grew into the man who died on a cross so that he could open the way to heaven.  He became the man who rose from the tomb so that He could rule from heaven, at His Father’s right hand.  And He became the man who sent His Spirit to open people’s eyes to the truth about Him.  We shall see Him at God’s right hand on high.  We all here have an appointment with Him there.” [Christmas Playlist, Alistair Begg, pages 65-68]

I hope you are encouraged to think about the truths in the songs we sing at Advent.  And I hope that all of you personally know and have put your trust in the LORD Jesus Christ, who came to earth so many years ago.

Wishing you a Joyful Advent Season,

Pastor Dave