Blog Postings

For Unto us a Child is Born

the glory of the lord shone round about them

Returning to Listooder, Jonathan Rea turned us to Isaiah chapter 6 to read the Old Testament prophecy of the birth of Christ:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Moving on to Luke 2, Jonathan reminded us firstly that the coming of Christ means that we can be brought near to God, despite our sin, and that if He had not come there would be no Salvation, no solution, for the sin of mankind.

On the night of Christ's birth, it was the lowly shpeherds who first received the announcement of the arrival of the Lord. The 'glory of the Lord' shone around them as the angel of the Lord proclaimed the good news. In that moment, the darkness of night was turned into the glory of light. This same glory, the glory of Lord, appreared to in the days of Abraham, and in the tabernacle. At the dedication of the Temple, built by Solomon, the glory of the Lord appeared. Sadly, however, there was a time in the history of the people of Israel that His glory left the inner sanctuary of the temple, then it left the outer courtyard, and finally it departed to the mountain.

The sin and idolatry of the children Israel had caused the Lord to depart out of their midst. But it broke the heart of God to withdraw His presence. This is significant. While the Lord felt the need to depart from the people, He gave them opportunity after opportunity to repent, yet the people did not turn back to Him.

For 500 years, the nation of Israel was without the glory of the Lord. And now, here in Luke chapter 2, the glory of the Lord returns, and is shone all round about the shepherds. What a wonderful thought. That God, in His mercy, would return His glory not first to the high and mighty, but to the meek and lowly, working at night in the fields.

The shepherds were afraid, but the angel spoke of the good tidings of great joy, 'For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord'. They were to find the baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. This was a sign that was given: the sign of His humilty. The King of kings, the Lord of lords, was to be found in a place of poverty, of lowliness and a place of need.

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross
- Philippians 2:6-8

Having presented the message of glad tidings, a multitude of the heavenly host appeared, praising God. And the shepherds believed. With haste they made their way to Bethlehem to see the Son of God. They went quickly, with an earnest desire to see Him. How sad it is that today, neither the people of the world, nor even the church of Christ, seem to have that same earnest desire to get to Christ, and to be found with Him.

And when the shepherds had seen Him, they could not contain their desire to share the glad tidings themselves, but made known abroad the saying which was told them about the Saviour. It was not the splendour, the setting or the experience that they shared, but the message. They were not caught up in the emotion, nor were they distracted by the brightness of the heavenly hosts, but they focused on the message.

In a similar way, it is important that we, as believers, do not get carried away by our emotions, distracted by all the 'add-ons' that many churches offer, but stay true to the Word of God, to His promises and to the glorious truth of the Gospel.