Newsletter December 2017
The King has come
We have arrived at the end of another year and will be celebrating Christmas to remember the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ into the world. The prophet Isaiah foretold this event more than half a millennium before it occurred (Isaiah 9:2; 6-7):
The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined….
For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
Isaiah describes the condition of man before the coming of Christ as walking in darkness. God had revealed Himself to the nation of Israel and had given them His Law and spoken to them through various prophets. Nonetheless, they were still living in darkness, unable to discern the things of God. Since Adam and Eve had turned from God, the intimate relationship they had previously enjoyed with their Creator had been severed. As a result of their disobedience they lost their place in the perfect world of God’s garden and, instead of enjoying His loving presence, they now lived in the kingdom of darkness ruled by Satan, the prince of darkness. This is the state that Isaiah was describing – until the coming of God’s Anointed.
The birth of Christ would usher in a completely new era, as those who would answer His call to follow Him would be born anew by the power of His Spirit and restored to the relationship God had always intended for them. In his letter to the Colossians, the apostle Paul expresses this transformation as follows:
He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. (1:13-14) He then goes on to explain to his readers that this man Jesus is in fact the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
The miracle of Christmas is that God, who created the universe, came to us, his creation, became one of us. He came in the flesh, fully man and fully God. He lived among His people, but they did not recognise Him. Yet those who received Him, those who believed in Him, received power to become children of God. They were delivered from spiritual death and restored to true life through the miracle of the new birth. (John 1:10-13)
What about you? Do you recognise who He is? Do you receive Him as your Saviour? Do you believe that He came to die for you and to restore you to God? As we celebrate Christmas, let us reflect on the miracle of Bethlehem, let us worship Jesus and thank Him for coming to give us new life. And let us live the new life we have received in communion with our heavenly Father.