Friday, December 3, 2010

The GOD Man

For hundreds of years the Prophets told of His coming.  God sent an Angel to tell Zacharias that his wife Elizabeth was to have a son (John) that would prepare the people for the coming of the Messiah; which that alone was no small miracle given the age of Zacharias and Elizabeth.  Once more, God sent an Angel (Gabriel) to a young virgin girl (Mary) who was engaged to a man named Joseph.  The Angel told her that she was chosen to bare the Son of God; she was to name him Jesus.  The Angel also told Mary that her cousin Elizabeth was now six months pregnant "For with God nothing will be impossible".

The amazing thing to me was that not only was Mary chosen to give birth to God's Son, but that she was willing to do such a thing.  She knew that her Fiance' might not take it so well.  She also knew that in those days, a woman could be stoned to death for being pregnant without a husband.  Yet, she was willing to risk her reputation and even the man she loved for God's will.  Mary decided to make a trip to visit her cousin Elizabeth and when she met her for the first time, Elizabeth's baby danced in her womb at the very presence of God's Son in Mary's womb. 

When the time came near, God wrote the birth announcement of His Son in the sky for the very wise and scholarly of men to read.  Then for even the lowest of poor men (Shepherds who basically lived outside), He sent a personal invitation in the very presence of an Angel who stood right there in front of them and said, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be the sign to you:  You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths living in a manger" (I can hear Linus saying this in the play *A Charlie Brown Christmas*).  Then the Bible tells us that the sky was filled with many Angels singing a song, "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, good will toward men!"  Of course the Shepherds went to see this child and told Mary and Joseph of all they had heard from the Angels.

Can you just imagine it; God cared so much for the men of earth, that He made sure that all were invited.  I have always related to the Shepherds; to think that God would give us Plain folk an invitation is just so amazing to me that my heart can hardly contain it.  I can see how God provided an instant celebration!  God even made sure that two of His faithful servants weren't able to miss the birth of His Son either.  Simeon and Anna had waited in the Temple daily for Him to arrive; they both praised God for Him allowing them to see their future Savior when Mary and Joseph brought their baby Jesus to the Temple as was their custom to give an offering after a male child was born.

 There was also a sort of baby shower given later for God's Son.  Some very wise men of the East were anxious to greet this newborn King of the Jews.  They did their best to follow God's directions in the invitation that He wrote in the sky and they followed His star to Jerusalem.  They went to Herod the King and said, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?  For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him".  Of course Herod was none too happy to hear that the prophecy of this new King said that He would shepherd God's people and that these wise men actually wanted to recognize this baby of a King.  He basically told them to feel free to search Him out, but please come back and let me know too so that I might worship Him.  God continued to shine His star and the wise men were so happy to follow it once more to the house where Mary and Joseph were now living as it shined down over them.  They brought gifts of great wealth; gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  These gifts greatly helped Mary and Joseph to make a new life in Egypt for a time.  As you can imagine, God revealed to the wise men not to return to Herod and he became angry and commanded that all the male children who were born during the time of the star were to be killed (basically two years old and younger); such a terrible thing.  An Angel had warned Joseph to take his family to Egypt until the rule of Herod ended.

This was just the beginning of what this God Man would do.  Just think of it, God heard our heart's cry and decided to give us a Savior.  How amazing that His Son took on our humanness and the boundaries of this planet when He could have continued to enjoy all the privileges of His royal station in the Heavenly. But God was determined to not only tell us but to show us His love and mercy.

May you truly know the gift and meaning of this wonderful Season when we celebrate the birth of this God Man.  Merry Christmas and may God's peace reign in your hearts.

(If you'd like to read more about this miraculous event; I mostly took the scriptures of Luke and Matthew)

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