Dec 24, 2015 706
And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn (Luke 2:7).
If this Christmas you look about you and sigh for the smallness of the success of the gospel, if you look within and sigh again – this time over the smallness of your Christian growth, will you not remember that the Creator of the universe began the transformation of the universe by planting a seed in the womb of a poor peasant girl, a seed so small that it could not be seen though it contained God himself?
Will you not meditate on the fact that the decisive birthday of the world took place in a small inn of a small village of a small province of the world’s smallest nation? Limitation and pain are not the signs that Satan is winning; they are often the signs that God is irresistibly at work trampling Satan under his feet. Was it not that way on the cross itself, even that cross imaged by the confines of the tiny manger of Bethlehem?
The way that our society celebrates Christmas represents a gospel that has no reality and no power; that merely incarnates the values of our society.
Do you want to live by a version of the gospel that has no reality? Or will you respond to the greatest adventure of all with the same eagerness that men and women have always responded with to ventures that challenged them with the possible loss of all things including life itself? Christmas and New Year run into each other. Therefore behold the Bethlehem event without the fashionable squint and resolve accordingly how to live in 2017.
We wish you, not a merry Christmas, but a blessed Christmas as the Spirit of God whispers to you the real truths of the gospel way to glory.
– Des Ford. Rom 8:27–32. (Adapted from “Bethlehem Had No Christmas Tree, Only the Shadows of the Cross.”)