Friday, December 25, 2015

The glorious themes of Christmas


"Let all the angels of God worship Him..." Hebrews 1:6

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Hebrews 1:1-14

TO CHEW ON: God, who at various times ad in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds." Hebrews 1:1,2

One gets shivers reading the grand words that begin Hebrews. Like the strains of an orchestral overture, they give us glimmerings of the motifs that will follow. Of course we recognize these themes so readily because we have heard them before.

For example, our focus verses take us back to John 1:

Hebrews 1:1,2: "God... has in these last days spoken to us by His Son..."
John 1:1,14: "In the beginning was the Word ... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us."

Hebrews 1:2: "... through whom He also made the worlds."
John 1:3: "All things were made through Him and without Him nothing was made that was made."

The writer continues by quoting prophecy after prophecy to show us the preeminence of Jesus over every other created being. His praise montage contains snippets of Psalm 2:7; 2 Samuel 7:14; Psalm 97:7; 104:4; 45: 6,7; Isaiah 61:1,3; Psalm 102:25-27; Isaiah 34:4; 50:9; 51:6; Psalm 110:1; 103:20.

They tell us:
  • Jesus is God's Son. 
  • The angels worship Him. 
  • His throne and scepter are eternal. 
  • His perfect just rule is a reason for joy. 
  • Though the earth He created will someday wear out, He is unchanging and triumphant.

This is the Jesus whose birth we celebrate today. It makes one want to sing with the carolers:

"O come let us adore Him...
For He alone is worthy
Christ, the Lord." -  from "O Come All Ye Faithful" 

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You that You laid aside Your brightness, made Yourself small enough to fit into a womb, and endured human limitations for me. Help me to recognize in the humble scenes of Christmas, the grand themes of Your majesty and glory. Amen.

MORE: Christmas Day

Today the church celebrates Christmas Day. The Nativity Day liturgy begins with this prayer (Collect):

 Almighty God, you have given your only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and to be born [this day] of a pure virgin: Grant that we, who have been born again and made your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit; through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with you and the same Spirit be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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