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Right now there's a lot of talk going on about Christmas - favorite Christmas carols, Christmas baking, Christmas memories and even Christmas sweaters. So it isn't surprising God had a lot to say about Christmas too.
First, He spoke to prophets hundreds of years before Jesus was a twinkle in His mother's eye. Isaiah foretold that a virgin would conceive a child (Isaiah 7:14), Micah proclaimed the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) and numerous other prophets declared the lineage of Messiah would be through Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Judah.
Then God went silent.
The voice of God was not heard for four hundred years. One hundred and forty-six thousand nights. Of nothing.
Then at just the right time, God spoke again.
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The Angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah and told him to get ready. Get ready for the birth of a son - a boy filled with the Holy Spirit who would prepare people for the coming of the Lord (Luke 1:17). Get ready for the child who will get the world ready for Messiah.
But when Zechariah was told to get ready, he didn't think he was equipped for what God had in store. He started to make excuses as to why God got it wrong. The Lord's response to Zechariah's supposed ill-preparedness was not a flurry of activity, instead he commanded stillness.
When God wants to do a new thing or bring about an impossible dream in your life, sometimes you have to be silent. Sometimes you need to still the voices of work, family, and other pressures to anticipate what God is about to do.
As you get ready for Christmas, I pray you take time to prepare your life for Jesus and the miracle He has designed for you. Find a moment (or rather, moments) to be still and know He is God. As with Zechariah, mighty miracles are birthed in silence.
Jesus is the Savior
God spoke to many at the time of the birth of His Son - Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, Shepherds, Simeon, Anna, wise men of the East. He used different mediums and gave each different instructions, but there was one resounding message He gave to all. Funny thing is, you don't find this message on many cards. You don't see this word written on banners, you don't hear people chat about it during carols programs telecast across the nation. But God talked about it.
Matthew 1:21 “And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Luke 2:10-11 But the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!”
Luke 2:30-32 “I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!”
People say the season (not even Christmas) is about giving, loving, sharing, caring, hope, joy, believing - anything but salvation. God's message to the world at Christmas was the message of salvation. A Savior has been born.
The hero of Christmas isn't going to come down the chimney. The hero is Jesus. May your eyes see the magnificence of your salvation this Christmas.
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Look at the Signs
Have you been dropping hints to loved ones lately? Leaving catalogues open on the table? Making subtle references to your desired gift in conversation? Christmas is a time when we use signs to communicate our hearts desires.
When God spoke at Christmas, He didn't always use words. Like us, He articulated His gift to the world through signs. The virgin conceiving was a sign. Elizabeth falling pregnant was a sign. Shepherds were told to look for a baby in a manger as a sign that the Angel's words were true (as if witnessing a host of angels singing in the heavens was not enough). And of course, the Magi saw a star in the sky.
Christmas is a time when God speaks to His people through signs but in the busyness of it all, we can overlook or ignore them. Jesus has a message for you at Christmas. Don't limit it to words. Perhaps the most significant gift you will receive will come in the form of a sign sent from heaven this Christmas.
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I'm Sarah Coleman, an Aussie passionate about Jesus & family. Through blogs and books I minister life and encouragement. Download my FREE eBook, Be Amazing: You Know You Want To. Find more of my thoughts at sarahcoleman.com.au.
Publication date: December 15, 2015