Messiah – Heaven’s Glory

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph, her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME EMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.” – Matthew‬ ‭1:18-23‬

Phillips Brooks:

Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas to-night!

Christmas in lands of the fir tree and pine,

Christmas in lands of the palm tree and vine;

Christmas where snow-peaks stand solemn and white,

Christmas where corn-fields lie sunny and bright;

Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas to-night!

 

Christmas where children are hopeful and gay,

Christmas where old men are patient and gray;

Christmas where peace, like a dove in its flight,

Broods o’er brave men in the thick of the fight;

Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas to-night!

 

For the Christ-child who comes is the Master-of all,

No palace too great and no cottage too small;

The Angels who welcome Him sing from the height,

“In the city of David a King in His might.”

Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas to-night!”

 

Phillips Brooks said Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas to-night!

“Throughout the Western world we tend to follow the poet and approach Christmas emotionally instead of factually. It is the romance of Christmas that gives it its extraordinary appeal to that relatively small number of persons of the earth’s population who regularly celebrate it.

So completely are we carried away by the excitement of this midwinter festival that we are apt to forget that its romantic appeal is the least significant thing about it. The theology of Christmas, too easily gets lost under the gay wrappings. 

Yet apart from its theological meaning it really has none at all. A half dozen doctrinally sound carols serve to keep alive the great deep truth of the Incarnation, but aside from these, popular Christmas music is void of any real lasting truth. The English mouse that was not even stirring, the German Tannenbaum so fair and lovely and the American red-nosed reindeer that has nothing to recommend it have pretty well taken over in Christmas poetry and song. These along with merry old St. Nicholas have displaced Christian theology.

We must not forget that the Church is the custodian of a truth so grave and urgent that its importance can not be overemphasized, and so vast and incomprehensible that even an apostle did not try to explain it; rather it burst forth from him as an astonished exclamation:

Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations; was believed on in the world,” – 1 Timothy 3:16

This is what the Church is trying to say to mankind but her voice these days is thin and weak and scarcely heard amid the commercialized clangor of Silent Night.

It does seem strange that so many persons become excited about Christmas and so few stop to inquire into its meaning; but I suppose this odd phenomenon is quite in harmony with our unfortunate human habit of magnifying trivialities and ignoring matters of greatest import. The same man who will check his tires and consult his road map with utmost care before starting on a journey may travel for a lifetime on the way that knows no return and never once pause to ask whether or not he is headed in the right direction.

Christ’s coming to Bethlehem’s manger was in harmony with the primary fact of His secret presence in the world in preincarnate times as the Light that lighteth every man. The sum of the New Testament teaching about this is that Christ’s claims are self-validating and will be rejected only by those who love evil. Whenever Christ is preached in the power of the Spirit, a judgment seat is erected and each hearer stands to be judged by his response to the message. His moral responsibility is not to a lesson in religious history but to the divine Person who now confronts him.

Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas tonight. But Christmas either means more than is popularly supposed or it means nothing. 

We had better decide.” – A.W. Tozer

 

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