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He's Here!

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Waiting

The anticipation of waiting
H.J. Wilson’s catalog store from Baton Rouge. By 1982 it was the third largest catalog store in the US until it eventually sold to Service Merchandise. As a child, I remember thumbing through their catalog and circling all of the items that I wanted for Christmas. Then came the waiting to see if I would get what I wished for.
Judaism had for thousands of years awaited their Savior. Along the way, they had come up with quite a few things they wanted Him to be or do.
Genesis 3:15 NASB95
And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
Isaiah 7:14 NASB95
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.

Wrapping

After Mom would do the Christmas shopping she would wrap all of the presents. In my mind’s eye it seems that she must have wrapped each part separately because there always seemed to be a mountain of presents under the tree. Of course it could just be that there were so many of us it seemed that way.
On Christmas morning all of the paper would be torn away and what would be revealed was the reality behind all of those dreams. Sometimes it was what was expected, but, more often than not, a surprise was present.
For the nation of Israel, when all of the wrapping was removed from their new Savior, He wasn’t at all what they expected.
Luke 2:1–14 NASB95
Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
Luke 2:1–14 NASB95
Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
Luke 2:1-1
Under the swaddling clothes that Bethlehem’s baby boy was wrapped in was not the political or military hero that Israel was asking for. Instead they found a meek, humble, suffering-servant.
They were not wrong to expect that Christ would come in glory and power. They did not misread the scriptures that say that of His Kingdom there would be no end. It is just that they got things terribly out of order.
Baby Jesus’ unwrapping was not going to deliver them physically from their current struggles. Instead He had come to deliver them from their greatest enemies, sin and death!

Worshipping

Back to Christmas Past…I remember so many of the wonderful gifts of my childhood. My first “big boy bike”, my race-car track, my train track, my remote control car that my Dad wrecked the first time it was driven!
I remember the feelings of elation and excitement when the waiting was over and the wrappings had been removed. I just wanted to enjoy the gifts and I never wanted the day to end!
Those are feelings that we should have about the greatest gift of Christmas! That we could just focus exclusively on the gift, that we could explore all of the nuances of His Being. That the day would never end!
Matthew 2:1–2 NASB95
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”
That is the message of Christ. HE IS HERE and we have come to WORSHIP HIM!
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