The prophet Isaiah’s ministry was one of comfort. To the people of Judah who were living in a time of moral and spiritual darkness, Isaiah brought a promise that assured them that comfort was coming. But it would come in an unexpected form – comfort would arrive in the form of a child, a son: “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us” (Isaiah 9:6).
God’s answer to everything that had troubled his people was a child. Even though this child would be mighty God and bear the weight of the world on his shoulders, he did not take the throne in power the first time he came. Instead, he came in weakness, in smallness, in humility, as a baby.
In his human nature, Jesus entered this world just like every other human – by being born as a baby. Yet, in his deity, he was not born, but given, from the heart and presence of the Father. “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3: 16-17).
Jesus was born to us in full humanity, given to us in full deity, sent to us with a magnificent and holy purpose.
Even the place of his birth was one that displayed humility yet fulfilled divine prophecies. “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times” (Micah 5: 2). Jesus was born in the agricultural fields just a roman mile from Bethlehem in which the Passover lambs were bred and chosen each year for the atonement of the nation. Jesus, being the ultimate and final Passover sacrifice, was born and clothed in this very same field. He lay in a manger in the very same way the lambs would have laid as they were taken care of to avoid blemish.
As we remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus, let us open our hearts to the incredible gift that has been given to us in God’s one and only Son.
Prayer – Mighty God, I open my arms and my heart to receive this incredible gift.
Song: Away In A Manger (Martina McBride)
(BONUS VIDEO) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5R4wOymh5Q
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.