November 29, 2016 | by: 0 Comments|
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
If you’re like me then you love the Christmas season. There are so many reasons to love the Christmas season, but as a Christian this time of year is where the fullness and depth of our theology is in bloom (That’s right, a springtime metaphor in winter!). The fullness and depth of our theology is bloom this time of year because we are discussing the wonder of God becoming man. As J.I Packer put it,
“The really staggering Christian claim is that Jesus of Nazareth was God made man – that the second person of the Godhead became the ‘second man’ (1 Cor. 15:47), determining human destiny, the second representative head of the human race, and that he took humanity without loss of deity, so that Jesus of Nazareth was as truly and fully divine as he was human. Here are two mysteries for the price of one – the plurality of persons within the unity of the Godhead, and the union of Godhead and manhood in the person of Jesus.” (J.I. Packer, Knowing God, p.53)
I’d encourage you to find ways to meditate on this “staggering claim” during this season, and if you don’t know where to start, let me offer a few ideas from the Bible, from a hymnal, and from a few books.
First, the Bible. Let me encourage you to read passages like Genesis 3:1-15, Isaiah 9:1-7, Isaiah 11:1-16, Micah 5:1-5, Matthew 1:1-2:23, Luke 1:1-2:38, John 1:1-14, Galatians 4:1-7, Philippians 2:5-11, and Colossians 1:15-23. These passages unfold God’s plan of sending his Son into the world for us and for our salvation.
I’d also encourage you to pick up a hymnal and read through the Christmas carols found in #76-118. You can even sing through them if you can’t help yourself. We’ve got some extras to give away in the Library (they’re the blue ones). In these hymns we find amazing truths like this:
“Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
‘Glory to the newborn King!’”
Finally, consider reading about Christmas from a few faithful Christian authors. I personally like Joel Beeke & William Boekestein’s volume Why Christ Came to Die: 31 Meditations on the Incarnation (we’ve got copies on the book nook!). Nancy Guthrie’s Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room and John Piper’s Good News of Great Joy are also very good. If you’ve only got time to read one chapter this Christmas season, then you should definitely read “God Incarnate” in J.I. Packer’s classic Knowing God (Also available on the book nook!). It might just be the best chapter in an altogether excellent book.
Above all this Christmas season, I pray that we would all remember that Jesus was born to die and rise again, so that, as the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:49, “as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.” Merry Christmas.
Warmly in Christ,
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