Of Jesus Birth – A Christmas Story
Traditionally the Christmas Story begins with the angel Gabriel’s Announcement to Mary: Luke 1:26-38. that she will bear a son.
Perhaps the earlier prophesy:
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 11:1-5, 10; and Jeremiah 23:5-6
“5 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. 6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord Our Righteousness.”
In the tradition of Advent, these passages are included to show the events that are coming. In scripture the presence of Christ was in the beginning. God’s very first act when he said, “Let there be Light”. Genesis 1: 3 God was saying, “Let my whole being and nature be revealed”.
Genesis 1: 1-5
“1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
Perhaps I am taking a little latitude here in my interpretation of the Genesis accounts of creation.
Verse 1 is meant to stand alone. It is and was God who is solely responsible for all of creation both heavenly and earthly, the seen and the unseen, the spiritual and the physical. God made it and apart from God nothing is made that was made. That is the first and final word on the subject. In reporting terms, this is the subject or headline of the creation story.
Scripture then goes on to explain the why, who, how, where and when of creation.
In verse 2 we read that the earth was not formed as yet, there was nothing there. Outside of God was only darkness, a deep, a separation from God as waters. We learn in later scripture that the jews had a fear of the ‘waters’, this separation from life as in the story of Jonah. This is the place of death. God was in consideration or dilliberation of His actions in doing away with any sense of evil, or what could be considered as being outside of His presence. His decision was to “Bring all things unto himself” – even death.
God intends to bring His entire creation into perfect harmony with Himself. God intends to restore all things to Himself. Every enemy will be defeated, the final enemy being death, and Jesus will sit at the right hand, be the active authority of the Father until every enemy is defeated.
Psalms 8:6-9 KJV
“Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:”
Acts 3:19-21 KJV
“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”
Colossians 1:20 KJV
“And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”
Philippians 3:21 KJV
“Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”
Ephesians 1:10 KJV
“That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:”
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
This Light, this Life, Truth, Way. this is who will bring all things unto Himself. This Immanuel, God with us.
John 8:12 KJV
12 “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
John 14:6 KJV
6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
This can be none other than Christ Jesus.
“Who (Christ) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation,”
4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.
That those things which God brings unto Himself shall have no sign of death or evil within. And that is surely good.
Mark 10:17-18 KJV
“Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”. And this is Jesus’ answer: “Why do you call me good? No one is good-except God alone”
1 John 1:5 KJV
5 “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”
This then is the start of the Christmas story, The first act of creation.
5″ God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.”
To signify that this is a unique part in the creation story the writer defines it as a day, or a single and separate event. Not a day as we have come to understand a 24 hour period for the sun which defines our day is not yet created. That won’t happen until the fourth day in the creation story. In the second chapter of Genesis the writer calls the events of creation – generations. 4 “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created,”
“14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.”
Mankind is the second to last act in this creation story.
Genesis 1: 26-28 KJV
“26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth”.
It is interesting that the very first order or commandment given to mankind is to be God’s agent on earth and to tend, use and look after all He has created. That is the meaning of dominion, a regency of the kingdom. Mankind are regents of God’s Kingdom on earth. God has asked us to be conservationists, environmentalists, ecologists and take care of this earth. Perhaps it is our failure to look after this earth that the final act of the creation story is to create a new earth, one fit for His Holy Kingdom.
“31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”
Genesis 2: 1-4
“1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,”
We are told that God created the whole of creation in six days and then rested. Is God resting? No. He still is involved; He still heals, He still comforts, He is still performing miracles, He still blesses, He still forgives. Is it not obvious then that we are living in the sixth day, generation, of creation?
I will close with a traditional Christmas benediction:
“May you be filled with the wonder of Mary, the obedience of Joseph, the joy of the angels, the eagerness of the shepherds, the determination of the magi, and the peace of the Christ child. Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit bless you now and forever. Amen.”