What has been the happiest day of your life? On January 23, 2021, my daughter got married in a small masked ceremony in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. After the wedding, as I danced the night away with our immediate family and the happy couple’s closest friends, my brother hugged me and said he had never seen me so happy.
So what does reigning in life mean when death looms as large as it does in our world right now? I think one thing it means is celebrating Christmas. Celebrating Christmas is to dare to express real hope in the midst of a world that is perishing. Celebrating Christmas means to proclaim the truth that death’s days are numbered and with every mustard seed of faith in the finished work of Christ, yet another eternal soul is freed from death’s tyranny and gifted the very righteousness of Jesus Christ. Celebrating Christmas is to offer our friends and neighbors God’s abundant provision for their lives through our testimony.
This is a lot to take in for dear Joseph. But it is a lot to take in for us as well! At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of the Son of God, fully man and fully God. We call this miracle growing inside Mary, the incarnation, meaning the eternal God took on flesh. Paul puts it this way when writing about Christ Jesus: “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!” Philippians 2:6-8
This Christmas, I wonder if God might be inviting those of us who have known Him for a while, those of us who have celebrated his birth at Christmas for our whole lives, to leap forward in our understanding of the good news about Jesus Christ?
“… Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in Him, for He shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.” Deuteronomy 33:12 This verse is in the prayer Moses prayed over the tribes of Israel just before He died. As he looked out over a promised land they would move into without him, his words about each tribe are beautiful and full of hope. This particular prayer is over the tribe of Benjamin. Of the 12 sons of Jacob, Benjamin is the baby. Born to Jacob’s favorite wife, Rachel, who died in...