by Pastor Tim Burt
Merry Christmas from Renee and I. I wanted to share a great Christmas blog from a precious friend of Renee and mine. I pray it will bless you! ~Pastor Tim
This year, Christmas looks different doesn’t it. We are experiencing upheaval, economic stress, a pandemic, and an unsure future, just to name a few of the unsettling things going on in the world around us.
But I have been thinking about what the world looked like when Jesus was born.
When God was born in the flesh to a teenage mother in the tiny town of Bethlehem, the world around Him wasn’t peaceful or loving, and it certainly wasn’t sympathetic to His race. Herod the Great was king, and he was brutal leader. He ruled Judea, Samaria and Galilee as a police state.
Jesus was born into essentially a third-world country under a military dictatorship. People were heavily taxed as much as 50% to 60% of what they grew and owned. Unlike the American system, which uses taxes to help the less fortunate, Mary and Joseph’s taxes were used to boost the wealth of rulers. By our standards, injustice was built into this system and the top 10% of people controlled virtually everything.
You might say, conditions of the world in those days weren’t ideal. Kind of like our conditions today. Yet this is when God decided to put His plan of redemption into action. Apparently world events don’t freak Him out – so I am determined not to let them freak me out either!
He Loves Us So Much
This holiday season, the thought that has dominated my mind has been: “He came.”
God loved us so much He didn’t just call from heaven, “I love you!” No, He came.
He wanted so much to rescue us from sin and restore us to fellowship that He wasn’t moved by world events, and He didn’t trust the job to angels or prophets or anyone else. No, He Himself came to earth to live and die for us.
He didn’t have to do that, but He did. First Timothy 1:15 says, This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.’
He came for me! The King of kings and Lord of lords, who had been with the Father since the beginning of time, gave up heaven to come to earth for only one reason — to save us.
That’s amazing to me. It makes me so grateful. Philippians 2:6-8 says it like this:
Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
You and I don’t serve a far-away God. We are the children of a God who loves us so much He came to get us when we didn’t deserve it (Romans 5:8).
He came from heaven to earth to make His home right inside us (John 14:17). He’s not looking at us from far off — He’s become one of us. He completely understands who we are and what we need.
This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin (Hebrews 4:15)
This Christmas as we celebrate His coming – in the midst of turmoil and trouble much the same as the days of Jesus’ birth — I pray this truth dawns on your spirit more than ever before. You are loved – even in the midst of everything we’re going through. Not by Someone far off, but by One who’s name is Emmanuel – God with us.
Thank God, He came!
Be sure to visit Karen’s blog at Karen Jensen at KarenJensen.org.
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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