Saturday, 25 December 2010

Christmas

From the Bible, Luke 2 v 1 - 14 -

"And it came to pass in those days, that 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, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage 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; because there was no room for them in 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, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 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."



C H Spurgeon's Morning Devotional for December 25th -

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/spurgeon/morneve.d1225am.html

“Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

Isaiah 7 v 14


Let us today go down to Bethlehem, and in company with wondering shepherds and adoring Magi, let us see him who was born King of the Jews, for we by faith can claim an interest in him, and can sing, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.” Jesus is Jehovah incarnate, our Lord and our God, and yet our brother and friend; let us adore and admire. Let us notice at the very first glance his miraculous conception. It was a thing unheard of before, and unparalleled since, that a virgin should conceive and bear a Son. The first promise ran thus, “The seed of the woman,” not the offspring of the man. Since venturous woman led the way in the sin which brought forth Paradise lost, she, and she alone, ushers in the Regainer of Paradise. Our Saviour, although truly man, was as to his human nature the Holy One of God. Let us reverently bow before the holy Child whose innocence restores to manhood its ancient glory; and let us pray that he may be formed in us, the hope of glory. Fail not to note his humble parentage. His mother has been described simply as “a virgin,” not a princess, or prophetess, nor a matron of large estate. True the blood of kings ran in her veins; nor was her mind a weak and untaught one, for she could sing most sweetly a song of praise; but yet how humble her position, how poor the man to whom she stood affianced, and how miserable the accommodation afforded to the new-born King!

Immanuel, God with us in our nature, in our sorrow, in our lifework, in our punishment, in our grave, and now with us, or rather we with him, in resurrection, ascension, triumph, and Second Advent splendour.


From "Echoes of Eternity", a collection of Christian poems by Michael R Abbot; used with permission -

The Saviour

The Saviour promised long,
The Christ, Immanuel,
Only begotten Son of God,
With us is come to dwell.
The promise of the ages He,
Who comes to set the prisoner free
And save lost souls from hell.

He is the Way, and He alone
Can lead a sinner to God's throne.
He is the Truth and they who heed
His word, will find in Him their need;
He is the Bread on which we feed.
He is the Life, the Light.

Both Alpha and Omega He,
A King for all eternity,
The Everlasting Prince of Peace,
There is no end of His increase;
The blessed and only Potentate
Before Whose throne we fall,
The Holy One of Israel,
The Righteous Judge of all.

With God before the World began,
Both Son of God and Son of Man,
The first begotten from the dead,
The Church's risen, living Head:
For her He died,
For her He bled;
Upon the cross His blood He shed,
That she His bride might be;
Then rose victorious from the grave
That she, the one He came to save,
Might dwell with Him on high.

A prince of David's royal line,
From Jesse's stem a rod,
To smite the wicked in the earth,
An ensign raised by God.
To Him the nations gather now:
From east and west,
To Him they bow.

The Lamb of God, our sacrifice,
And yet our Great High Priest;
Shepherd and Bishop of our souls,
Who spreads for us a feast;
Faithful and True in all His ways,
Deserving of unceasing praise,
JEHOVAH, GREAT I AM.



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