It is time for my yearly Christmas message. Blessings to your homes, families, and friendships in this season. If you are alone or going through a difficult holiday season, blessings. You are loved.
Holy Night & Fully Human: December 2019
*Links included will open to Scripture references if you would like to read the supporting Bible verses.
Let us celebrate the truth of Christ’s first advent. God the Son became fully man, born of the virgin Mary, and was revealed to all humanity in Christ Jesus our Lord. He is the gift of the Father, whom we receive with humble adoration.
Let us demonstrate our love of the truth, revealed through Christ’s first advent, by recommitting our obedience to that which God put on display through the life of His only begotten Son.
I’m going to depart a little from a typical Christmas message this year.
The first time Jesus came to the earth, He came as a baby. In Hebrews it says that He learned obedience. God humbled Himself coming in the form of a human, flesh, blood, and all. He subjected Himself to the instruction of mankind whom He created. He was anointed to preach the Gospel, and He preached the Gospel of the kingdom. He sat with His Father in prayer, and did everything He saw the Father doing. He brought good tidings to the poor. He shared His bread with the hungry. He cast out devils. He heard the thoughts of the wicked and spoke truth to them. He subjected Himself to a sinners death, embracing all of its humiliation and abandonment. He did all of this and much more, faithfully, not only to save us but to set an example.
In a way it was all one big setup. One big, holy setup, that began on the holy night of His birth. It had been planned since before the foundations of the earth in the mind of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The plan was executed flawlessly.
Jesus showed us what it means to be fully human.
Anything Jesus did during His life and ministry is what “normal” humans are supposed to do if they are being mindful of their Heavenly Father. Go out and do the things Jesus did. The bible gives you permission and the finished work of Jesus gives you authority. That’s not arrogance. It is simply, humbly, being human the way God intended when He made you.
If you preach freedom to the captive in Jesus’ name, know He did the same. If you heal the sick in Jesus’ name, know that He did the same. If you endure many trials and misunderstandings in Jesus’ name, know that He did the same. If you suffer like a sinner suffers… If you tread upon devils and multiply bread… I think you get the idea.
Jesus showed us what it means to be fully human. Do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.
Also, know that Jesus is still fully human. He is both fully God and fully resurrected human. Jesus’ first advent was also a big setup for His second advent, which is still to come.
The next time Jesus comes to earth, it won’t be as a baby but as a conquering king.
When He comes He will establish His throne in Jerusalem. From this place of earthly and spiritual authority He will rule over the whole earth. The justice and peace prophesied in the “Christmas story” will be fulfilled in completion on earth as it is in heaven. When Jesus has extended this justice and peace to every far reach of this world (which the bible says will take about 1,000 years), heaven and earth will be joined together like a bride and bridegroom into a new heaven and new earth. Finally, the old things will pass away, and that which we partake in dimly through the first fruits of His promise will be known fully and eternally.
Being fully human includes preaching this Gospel of the Kingdom throughout all the earth, just as Jesus did throughout Judah and Samaria. Preach it to the poor and rich alike, to the lowly and the ruler, to the weak and the strong. Offer its blessings and mercies freely to everyone.
Let us partner with Jesus in the work of His first advent so that we may witness His next.
In closing, I want to share with you the literal English translation of the Christmas hymn, O Holy Night. I love making these little discoveries of our rich history and wanted to share it with you all.
- Midnight, Christians, is the solemn hour,
- When God as man descended unto us
- To erase the stain of original sin
- And to end the wrath of His Father.
- The entire world thrills with hope
- On this night that gives it a Saviour.
- People, kneel down, await your deliverance.
- Noel, noel, here is the Redeemer,
- Noel, noel, here is the Redeemer!
- May the ardent light of our Faith
- Guide us all to the cradle of the infant,
- As in ancient times a brilliant star
- Guided the Oriental kings there.
- The King of Kings was born in a humble manger;
- O mighty ones of today, proud of your greatness,
- It is to your pride that God preaches.
- Bow your heads before the Redeemer!
- Bow your heads before the Redeemer!
- The Redeemer has broken every bond:
- The Earth is free, and Heaven is open.
- He sees a brother where there was only a slave,
- Love unites those that iron had chained.
- Who will tell Him of our gratitude,
- For all of us He is born, He suffers and dies.
- People, stand up! Sing of your deliverance,
- Noel, noel, sing of the Redeemer,
- Noel, noel, sing of the Redeemer!
-J. S. Marek