Warmest Christmas Greetings!
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’” — Matthew 1:18-21
Matthew’s account of the birth of Jesus is remarkable for its stark simplicity considering the immensity of the story being told. It invites us to think more deeply about the events he describes. It’s hard to imagine what it must have been like for Mary and Joseph to absorb the magnitude of all that was happening to them. For a virgin to be with child before she and her husband had “come together” was and is beyond anything imaginable in human terms.
It is here at the first Christmas that the most profound and unfathomable depths of the Christian revelation lie. In the manger, we find not only the Savior of the world, but also the Creator of the universe, God with us—Immanuel. The One who put the stars in the sky lay beneath them in the form of a helpless baby, entering time and space not to let us know He exists, but to draw near to us and invite us into His everlasting kingdom.
How good of God to dispatch His angels to help Mary and Joseph know how to respond to all that was taking place! We can draw a parallel when we come alongside unbelieving family and friends to consider these things.
It takes the Holy Spirit to open our hearts and minds to the truth of the Christmas story: the second person of the Godhead becoming the second Adam, truly and fully divine and truly and fully human. Sinless, He comes for one purpose: to bear our sin by being stricken for our transgressions (Isaiah 53). We can only understand Christmas in light of Easter—the cradle is given because the cross is coming.
As we anticipate Christmas, let me encourage you to share this amazing story with loved ones. Regardless of how many times you may have invited unbelieving friends and family to join you for Christmas concerts or worship services, please do not grow weary, but instead be diligent in your invitations and your prayers, asking God to work a miracle in their lives!
Thank you for your faithful partnership in the Gospel through Truth For Life. My best wishes to you and your family for a blessed Christmas.
With my love in the Lord Jesus,
Topics: Letters From Alistair Begg