I was thinking about the narrative of the birth of Jesus as I unpacked the Fisher Price Little People nativity set today for my kids. Whenever they find the angel and put it in its rightful place atop the stable, I always recite the angel’s words to the shepherds: “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord…” (Luke 2:10-11) I usually recite the whole proclamation, and without fail I choke up a bit every year. The emotions that rush in are feelings of gratitude and awe over such a historically significant moment.
Later that morning as I studied Jeremiah in my quiet time, I was pondering the angel’s words in juxtaposition to Jeremiah 17:5 “cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord.” These words bring greater meaning to the angel’s declaration in Luke. That baby, born of Mary, was no ordinary child, no common man. While God told Israel not place their trust in man, his messenger/angel comes announcing a new source of joy and hope found in a new born babe. How vividly this demonstrates that Jesus is so much more than a man. He was God becoming man, divine flesh— in contrast to Jeremiah, this is a man worthy of our trust, this is flesh that actually can be our strength. This is joyous news that fills my heart with hope!
What are you looking to today for strength?
Where are you placing your trust?
To whom does your heart turn?
Look to the meek and lowly manger, to the Rescuer who triumphed by death. Look to the spotless Lamb slain, whose blood eternally intercedes on our behalf. In Him is strength and great joy. In Him is forgiveness and life. In Him is transformation and expectation.
-for grace in our time of need
-for the Spirit who teaches us to to say “no” to ungodliness
-that he will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear
-that he is refining us like silver
-that he is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think
-that when we ask for wisdom it will be given
-that when we pray according to His will, he hears us and we have what we ask
-that he is near
-that we will appear with Him in glory
“Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.” (Hebrews 12:12-13)
I pray that your heart would be warmed and filled with hope as you contemplate the angel’s message this Christmas season. Our Healer has come. Forsake the empty things you so often look for strength in, and receive the newborn Savior-King. He is for all the people—for you.