Friday, November 26, 2004

December Newsletter Cover - Isa 9:6

…a child is born… (Isaiah 9:6, ESV)
The busy time is here… again! With Thanksgiving turkey still on our breath we look forward to Christmas green, a white blanket of snow on the ground, and brightly colored packages under the tree. There is always a lot to do. Just look at the calendar for the church; advent services every Wednesday night (It all adds up to 10 church services this month!), Christmas luncheons, Christmas eve program practices (Saturdays!), bible classes, budget meetings and elections, etc. And that’s just the church schedule. Most of us have school events, work events, family events, and maybe even a few other things folded in just for good measure. Wow! No one can say we don’t get the most out of the holiday season. Now, it’s a great time of the year, and there’s nothing wrong with getting the most out of it. There’s nothing wrong with Christmas lists, and shopping, and parties with family and friends.
But we know what the season is really all about. It’s really all about those four simple words from Isaiah …a child is born… It even sounds simple. Children are born every day. Families grow. It’s the way things work. We often put out of our minds that child birth is a messy business. We forget that in years past it was down right dangerous. Only a few hundred years ago a woman giving birth had a one in four chance of dying. Really …a child is born… is not as simple as it sounds, actually it’s extraordinary. On a dark night, in a dark stable, in a far away land, there was an extraordinary event …a child is born… everything was pretty normal as far as normal goes, for child birth. There was pain and blood and a nervous father. It was another extraordinary birth of a human baby. But there was something else that made this extraordinary event something different. In the middle of all that was normal, there was something very abnormal, because that completely normal baby boy was more than just extraordinary because he was born. He was much more than normal and even much more than extraordinary. He was God. That night God was born as a baby boy. …a child is born… doesn’t begin to grasp the significance of God suckling at his mother’s breast. …a child is born… doesn’t begin to explain the Creator of the Universe wrapped in diapers. That must be why Isaiah says more: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6).
That’s what the busy time is really about. God in human flesh, born of a virgin, wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger. But also let’s remember that that’s not the whole story. Being born is only the beginning. That same extra-extraordinary baby, lying in diapers, also hung naked on a cross. …a child is born… also fails to grasp what it means that God himself paid the awful price, the eternal consequences of human sin. That baby that was born in the normal extraordinary way, died in a very extraordinary way, as the complete and total payment for sin. It’s the gift that all the giving is about, God taking your sin and killing it by dying himself.
So, keep busy, celebrate fully, but remember the baby, remember the cross, and what Jesus, that extra-extraordinary child, has done for you.
God’s Peace.
Pastor Watt.

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