Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Matthew 1:18-25 

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. 
Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

Jesus Christ came into the world to save lost sinners like myself. As it says in Paul's letter to the Romans, "While we were yet sinners,Christ died for us." Later Paul writes, "For if, because of one man's trespass [here Paul is speaking of Adam's sin through which all humans inherit a sinful nature], death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ." Indeed the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. This is the real reason to celebrate Christmas.

Because Jesus is Lord, the Incarnation changed everything. Back in 1992, the late John Robbins wrote a very thought provoking article entitled, "The Coming of Christ" that was published in The Freeman. He examined the broader social significance of the coming of Christ into the pagan Ancient world. Robbins writes
the work of Christ—his birth, life, death, and resurrection-is the most important event in the history of mankind. Christ’s life is the point from which we date all of world history, and it is impossible to understand Western civilization, especially the United States, without understanding Christianity. 
In his article Robbins details what social life was like in the world before Christ and documents how social relationships changed as people converted to faith in Christ and began living out His ethics. On this Christmas day and season, may "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all."

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