by Pastor Ramylal Fernando
Exactly ten years ago same month of December, when an unusual wave behavior was observed in the shoreline of Sri Lanka, India, Burma, Phuket, Thailand and Sumatra, Indonesia. Water from the shore strangely receded several meters away from the coastline. Most of the people run towards the shore to have a closer look in this unforeseen wonder. Then something devastating happened, giant breaking waves as high as 30 feet in other places rapidly surge the seashore ravaging all it passes through. This was the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004, the most destructive tsunami ever recorded in history which took 350,000 thousand lives.
When you are presented with something great, how would you respond? Just like the initial reaction of most of the victims who were not aware of the coming disaster, will you approach the shore or run away from it.
Similarly, when we are presented with the greatest story recorded in the bible - the birth of Jesus Christ, how did we respond to it? While we have so many misconceptions about the true story of nativity: how Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem, whether Jesus was born in a stable, or if there were really three kings who visited Jesus on his birth. All these questions directs us back to the Bible, particularly from Matthew and Luke, where we can find accounts of the birth of Jesus Christ.
The story of nativity tells us that Jesus is the promised one.
1. He is given us.
a. A child is born
When God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus Christ, He did not just randomly picks a woman, God chose someone who is also seeking God for her to use her in His kingdom.
And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. --Luke 1:28-31
If Jesus did not come into this world, the entire humanity is doomed. There is no reason to be hopeful. Sometimes we think that the biggest decision Jesus made was when He chose to die on the cross, but actually it is when he chose to be born of a man and enter our world.
b. A son is given
The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. --Luke 1:35
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. --John 3:16
The Bible gives us several accounts that indeed Jesus Christ is the promised one through fulfilled prophesies.
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this. -- Isaiah 9:7
How great are His signs. And how mighty are His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. And His dominion is from generation to generation. --Daniel 4:3
For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow,of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. --Philippians 2:9-11
The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever. --Revelations 11:15
We can ask ourselves, If Jesus is God, and if He is the King of Kings, and if He is so great, what does it matter to you? What would you say about Him?CHRISTmas reminds us not of what we have or have not given to other people but what God has given us through His son Jesus Christ. Christmas is not just the season of giving gifts, shopping, family reunions and lavish food in the table. It is remembering how God loved us and what He is willing to sacrifice for us.
May this season be a celebration of God's greatness in our lives, making ourselves available so He can furthermore use us. Recognizing that only God is great for He has given.Transcribed by: