“A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.” Luke 2:32,33 And WE also marvel the things spoken about him and by Him. And without further ado, we surely must do… this Christmas Story.
I know it has been told, retold, analyzed, and theorized and I write on some aspect of it every single year.
And of all the stories of Christmases of old, time-honored traditions, or new customs, nothing will ever be as profound or as beautiful, holy, and humble as that splendid night that heaven came down and God’s glorious face shone in brilliance through a new-born babe.
We’ll take a trip through various books of the Bible and let the scriptures recount this blessed event.
The Promise: Isaiah 42:1-7: ” Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect (chosen), in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him; he shall bring forth judgment (justice) to the Gentiles.
He shall not cry, nor lift up his voice (speak loudly), nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.
A bruised reed he shall not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.
He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment (justice) in the earth; and the isles (coast lands) shall wait for his law.
Thus saith God, the Lord that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath to the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein;
I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from prison, and to them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.“
The Proof: Isaiah 7:14: ” Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (God With Us).”
Picking this passage up after the angel Gabriel had proclaimed John the Baptist’s forthcoming birth to Zacharias, the reference to the sixth month in this first verse is concerning that, basically John was Jesus’ natural cousins and they were six months between their conceptions.
The announcement: Luke 1:26-37:”And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God forth from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth.
To a virgin, espoused (engaged) to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And the angel came in unto her, and said Hail, (REJOICE) that thou art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast (pondered) in her mind what manner of salutation (greeting) this should be.
And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favor with God.
And behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
He shall be great, and he shall be called the Son of the Highest (most High). and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Then Mary said unto the angel, How can this be, seeing I know not a man (am a virgin)?
And the angel answered, and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing (one) which is born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
And behold, thy cousin (relative) Elisabeth hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
The fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham, the lineage of King David, and the earthly father, who really needed to know.
Matthew 1:17-25:” So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the carrying away in to Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise (as follows): When his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph before they came together,(before marriage or any relations) she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
Then Joseph her husband, being a just (upright) man, and not willing to make her a publick example (accuse, humiliate and have her stoned) was minded to put her away privately (thought of secretly ending it).
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 (Saviour): 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 (told) him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not (did NOT have relations with her) till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.”
The birth of the King to end all kings: Luke 2:1-21:”And it came to pass in those days there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was Governor of Syria.)
And all went to be taxed(registered),every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went into Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, (because he was of the house of David)
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger (feed trough) because there was no room for them at the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And lo,the angel of the Lord came upon them (stood before them),and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid (terrified).
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. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And SUDDENLY there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST, AND ON EARTH PEACE, GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
And when they had seen it, they made know abroad (told EVERYONE) the saying which was told them concerning this child.
And all that heard it wondered (MARVELED) at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
And when eight days were accomplished (completed) for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel BEFORE he was conceived in the womb.”
Our God, our hope, our promise, our peace, life and light eternal: Isaiah 9:2-6: “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, UPON THEM HATH THE LIGHT SHINED.
Thou hast multiplied the nations, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the days of the Midian. For every battle of the warrior is as confused noise, and garments rolled in blood: but this shall be with burning and fuel of (for) fire.
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.”
May His beautiful light shine on you and yours and His peace be yours this Christmas and as His Kingdom, may His peace upon you be never-ending.
Φλογιζω NBJ 2018 REVISITED 12/14/2021 Rev. Nina Brown Johnson