December 23, 2018

Christmas: A Time of Hope for All



“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”-- Luke 2:10-11 (KJV)



 “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, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”-- Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)

The Prophecy of Isaiah was given around 740 B.C.E. Jesus was born around 1 C.E. The map above shows most of the known world was ruled by the Roman Empire in 44 B.C.E.  This includes the future land of Israel. The boundaries of the empire had only changed slightly by the time Christ was born.

A Military Messiah?

Jesus Christ was far different from the earthly martial leader predicted by much of Jewish tradition. He didn’t battle kings or stain the mountains red with blood. He didn’t fight any Romans. Basically, Jesus didn’t free the land from the rule of Caesar. Here are his humble characteristics:
  • Born in one of the poorest nations in the world
  • Came into the world as a helpless baby, just like everyone else
  • Lay in a manger for his first bed—with the animals. His young parents weren’t rich or powerful.
  • Birth announced by an angel to modest shepherds in the field. The wise men from the east only saw the special star in the beginning.
  • Worked as a humble carpenter

Jesus came for everyone, especially the undervalued. He scorned arrogant, powerful people, such as the Pharisees. He called them “whited sepulchers” (See Matthew 23:27.).

The blessing of His birth isn’t just for the religious elite, or for the rich and famous. Here’s an example of how the joy of the season can bring joy to even the most common of us:

A Modern Christmas Miracle

(Information taken from The Travel Channel’s “Mysteries at the Museum” series)

World War 1 was in full swing in Europe in 1914.The line of trenches stretched for 440 miles almost straight down--from the North Sea down to the Swiss border. At that time, there were only about 100 yards separating the smelly, horrific trenches of both sides.

On December 24, there was a pause in the fighting. Some German soldier started singing a Christmas carol. The Allied troops in the opposite trenches were stunned, but one of them began singing, too.

When the singing stopped, one of the Germans offered to share his cigarettes. Cautious, not knowing what to expect, a British soldier stepped out to meet his counterpart. A few men, enemies and allies, ended up sharing cigarettes and laughs.

Astounding! But wait; it gets better!  By Christmas Day, the foes were playing an impromptu game of soccer. There was no fighting that entire day along the 440 miles of battle lines. For 24 hours, the peace and hope of Christmas prevailed.

This is the awesome legacy of our Savior’s birth. We can find a bit of joy and hope even in the middle of desperate circumstances.

My Conclusion

“People say there are no more miracles, that God does not exist. But just look at Christmas - a time when people express kindness, a time when the world stops and actually has peace, a time when people share with others - a miracle, part of God's plan!”-- Catherine Pulsifer from wow4u.com

Jesus did not come to bring immediate, military freedom. His legacy was many levels above that. He came to bring lasting salvation, peace, and joy to every inhabitant of Earth.

Christmas is about rising above tough conditions to love and share. It’s a season for recognizing our common interests.


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Do you feel the joy and peace of the season?