‘Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you.
With Christmas day almost upon us it is a time to lift our voices in gladness. As we do so we align ourselves with the rejoicing and gladness in heaven. God is working his plan out to bring about salvation. What does salvation include? Mary’s song of praise includes the bringing down of the powerful who use their power to oppress others, ‘He has scattered those who are proud in their innermost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones.’ Luke 1.51-52 He also extends mercy to those who fear him and are humble and needy, ‘His mercy extends to those who fear him …He has lifted up the humble … He has filled the hungry with good things.’ Luke 1.50,52,53
For the Angels salvation is good news that brings great joy for all people and the sign of that salvation was the birth of a Messiah in Bethlehem. Luke 2.10-12 For the wise men salvation meant the coming of a new king and discovering him brought them great joy and they worshipped him. Matthew 2.10-11
Jesus’ birth was God keeping his promise to come and live among us. H
ow often we look forward to the arrival of a person. My wife taught in a school where families lived on farms that belong to the Duchy of Cornwall, that is Prince Charles. One day a boy in her class did not come to school and when asked why the next day, he said Prince Charles came to lunch and arrived by helicopter. He had to keep it a secret and was not allowed to tell anyone before the day. There was great excitement in the family during the preparation. How much more excitement is appropriate if God himself has come to live with us?
Well he did in ancient Israel and when he matured he did many signs to show that he really was the promised Messiah, God with us. Many hardened their hearts and did not accept him. As Mary sang, they were proud in their innermost thoughts; but the humble he lifted up and the hungry he fed.
People from many nations have joined with him and have become his people. They have understood that the Lord has sent him to live with us. Following Jesus’ resurrection and then ascension he kept his promise of sending the Holy Spirit to continue to live with us. ‘I am going to send what my Father has promised, but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.’ Luke 24.49
So let’s make a noise, shout and be glad, for the Lord has come.
PENTATONIX – GOD REST YE MERRY GENTLEMEN (LYRICS)