I talk about this often because I feel it is important to understand the significance of the birth of Christ. At the time of His birth, the Jewish nation was being supressed on so many levels. They were a conquered nation and the Romans ruled with an iron fist. They held power over the king of the Jewish nation who, himself, was a hard taskmaster. If that were not enough, the priestly order who not only controlled the Temple but also the numerous rules of the faith, held power over the spiritual aspects of the people. There was also a caste system so to speak where privilege either elevated or the lack thereof relegated to a lower level. So, if your family was rich enough and so long as you lived in harmony with your siblings and such, you wanted for little. If you were the son of a shepherd, chances are you and your kids would all be shepherds. Oppressed on so many levels, taken advantage of by several levels of bureaucracy and living day to day with very little hope. Regardless of your status in the community, all learned the Holy Message and would know well the prophecies. In this was their only hope.
Isaiah 9: 2, 4, 6-7
The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine… For you will break the yoke of their slavery and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders. You will break the oppressor’s rod, just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian… For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!
For many, this was a promise that one day, the house of David would once again claim the throne and those who were oppressing the Jewish nation would pay a great price. The Messiah would come and drive the Romans out of the Holy Land, the great Herodian kingship would cease and a perfect peace would reign supreme. The Prince of Peace was coming to break the yoke of slavery, break rods and destroy the enemy. I am guessing they envisioned a glorious figure of a warrior with a great golden crown and riding in on a white stallion with legions of heavenly warriors ready to consume the enemy in a Holy fire. They missed something, however – For a child is born to us, a son given to us.
The Son of God rode into town on a donkey inside His mother. He was born in a quiet stable, a cave, to simple parents and was wrapped in rags, simple strips of cloth. His bed was a hollowed-out stone that held hay for the animals when they were indoors, His attendants were the animals that were not in the fields and shepherds who came into town to witness what the angel of the Lord had declared. Some may argue that there were three wisemen in attendance, but they would have still been a long way off in the east and could have taken almost two years to get to Bethlehem. By the way, there were three gifts, the number of magi was not specified.
All were looking for the warrior, Jesus came to live, love and build relationship with the people. He came to save through love and grace, not condemn and destroy. For those expecting a warrior there was disappointment but for those who were looking for peace and grace, Hope was born that day.
This Sunday, December 25, will celebrate the birth of the Christ child, our Saviour. We would love for you to join us either in person or online Sunday at 10:30 AM MST.
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We look forward to seeing you this Sunday.
Our Mission “To live the love of Christ”