As Christmas draws near, many of us desire to be with the ones we love. As we mature, it is not the gifts that we look forward to most but the opportunity to be with loved ones. And so we make plans, book tickets, pay outrages prices, we navigate insane traffic and travel great distances to be with the ones we love. Christmas is about God coming near to us. He leaves his heavenly abode and draws near to his loved ones, his beloved. At Christmas, God, who loves us, came to us.
The means of Jesus' magnificent incarnation are dazzling and purposeful. And they point forward to a life filled with eternal cosmic significance. The Jesus in the manger in Bethlehem would later lay his life down as a substitute for sinners, atoning for sin that was not his own.
This evening we celebrate the incarnation of Jesus. And we contemplate the good gifts He brings with him. Jesus is far better than we first realize him to be. He is everything we need and want. And He brings with him the gifts of Joy, His presence as Savior, Peace, Consolation, Light, Revelation and Redemption.
The prophet Isaiah proclaimed that God would lead his people from spiritual darkness to light by sending His Messiah. On them a light will shine and this light will bring a surprising joy that will break upon sinners through grace of Christ. He will be their Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
The consolation that all our hearts are searching for is only found in Jesus. In vain we seek to find satisfaction for the longings in our souls- for awe and worship, for lasting joy and peace, for meaning and dignity- in the world. Jesus alone fulfills the universal longings in our hearts. Consolation can only be found in Him, a perfect Savior, because all we want is found in Him.
One way that we celebrate Christmas is by giving gifts. God is a good gift giver. He has given us the greatest gift in the person of Jesus the Christ. In Jesus we have a Savior sent to rescue sinners from their sin. Jesus is the gift we need the most.
All year, but especially during the Christmas holiday we celebrate God’s love for us that has been made manifest through the Incarnation of Christ. But the pinnacle manifestation of God’s love for us is not just the Incarnation but rather His atonement for our sin. God has sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. He has sent a Savior!
Perhaps no other time of year is it easier to be distracted from Jesus and carried away by the culture than Christmas time. Tonight, we focus our attention on Jesus and the gifts he brings that neither break, spoil or leave us wanting. Jesus offers us the greatest gifts, peace and pardon.
In Luke’s account of the birth of Christ we learn much about the character and nature of God. We see the sovereign God working his plan to save his people for his glory through the humiliation of his son.