January 21, 2018

Oh, Holy Night

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In the same region there were shepherds staying out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone around them, and they were terribly frightened. but the angel said to them,

“Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people. for this day in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (the Messiah).

And this will be a sign for you [by which you will recognize Him]: you will find a Baby wrapped in [swaddling] cloths and lying in a manger.” Then suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host (angelic army) praising God and saying, “glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well-pleased.

Luke 2:8-14

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Hope Came That Holy Night

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The Israelites watched and waited hundreds of years for The One Who would come as a Deliverer from their bondage. The Psalmist expressed this desire for help when he said, “Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When the LORD restores the fortunes of his people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!” (Psalm 14:7). They didn’t know when or how. They didn’t understand the exact Who or the complete why, but they continued to wait and hope.
Oh, the Hope that rang out across the world when baby Jesus’ first cry pierced through that silent, holy night in Bethlehem when He was born! I can’t help but think of Mary and Joseph on the first night they looked into the eyes of baby Jesus. They weren’t sure of all that the future would look like, but they had the words of angels to remember and hold on to. Through the words of angels that were spoken before Jesus was born, they knew they were picked by God for a divine purpose, and they both fully accepted their places in God’s Plan.
As Mary held that precious baby in her arms, did she fully realize the unending Hope He offered? When Gabriel had appeared to tell Mary about the birth of Jesus, he said, “You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name ‘Jesus.’ He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:32-33).  The angel had proclaimed a promise of Hope in Jesus!  And there on that holy night, Mary saw that Hope had come when this Child was born!
As Joseph looked down on this little baby boy looking back at him, I wonder if Joseph thought about what the angel of the Lord had said to him in a dream, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name of Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel-which means, ‘God with us’ ” (Matthew 1:20-23). The angel had proclaimed a promise of Hope in Jesus! And there on that holy night, Joseph saw that Hope had come when this Child was born!
As they both looked down on baby Jesus, I wonder if Mary and Joseph remembered the words from the Old Testament that prophetically spoke of the Hope that would come to the world: “For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over His kingdom establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this” (Isaiah 9:6 and 7). Through Jesus, on that holy night, Hope had come as the Savior of the world!!!
Worship Jesus with me, would you please, as we listen to my favorite Christmas song, “O Holy Night,” sung by Mr. David Phelps.

 


Dear Lord,
We love You, and we thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, on that divine holy night! He is our Hope to break us free from our bondage in sin and reign over us forevermore as King! Let us remember that Jesus coming as the Hope of the world is the reason for this blessed season, Christmas, and let us be thankful for His life, death, and resurrection on this earth. We give You all praise and glory!
In Jesus’ precious Name I pray,
Amen.