The excitement of Christmas always arrives in our home around the middle of November. We talk about the things we’d like to enjoy together, and the discussion always circles back to why we’re celebrating in the first place.
Does the Christmas story start with an angel’s visit to Mary? In some senses, yes. The events are set in motion by a striking interaction between a strange visitor and a young girl. But these moments were planned long ago, before there was time.
This year we’ve begun tracing the thread of the coming Messiah through the Old Testament.
“And I will put enmity
between you and the woman
and between your offspring and hers
he will crush your head
and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)
The first glimpse of future where sin and death are vanquished. Keep reading and you’ll see more glimpses of hope.
Isaiah 7:14 – “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
And Isaiah 9:6 —
“For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.”
For some reason, I’ve found myself lingering in the book of Joel, and even here I’m seeing Jesus.
“You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
and you will praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed.
Then you will know that I am in Israel,
that I am the Lord your God,
and that there is no other;
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions.
Even on my servants, both men and women
I will pour out my Spirit in those days.”
Thank you Lord! What a relief! In a world that feels random and chaotic at times, I am on my knees in worship of the One who has always had things in the palm of His hand.
Especially this year, I have desperately needed these reminders that the Kingdom was always coming, from the very beginning. It was always planned, from long ago. Jesus was always on His way the first time – and even now we can be confident that He will come again the second time. God is the ultimate promise-keeper. He will do what He says He will do — without fail. He always keeps His promises.
Jesus will come again in glory to bring His Kingdom in all its fullness.
In the waiting, we are Kingdom people in a world in need. We invite others into the life Christ has brought – into the reality that is beyond our wildest hopes. We live according to the ways of the King of Kings, the One who has come and is coming back again.
He is the source of eternal hope, peace that passes all understanding, deep joy, and real love – the Way, the Truth and the Life.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)