Welcome to the 12 Days of Christmas! I have been trying to write about Christmas for a couple of weeks now, and honestly, I’ve struggled with it. Christmas and it’s grand story is too big to fit into one post properly; it’s too important and reverent to be sappy with it’s narrative; and there are too many misconceptions and false-truths to be careless with it’s account. So I decided to write 12 short posts, one for each of the 12 days leading up to Christmas. You’re not going to find turtle doves nor a partridge in a pear tree, but you might just find something more valuable. I’d love for you to follow along with me.
11th Day of Christmas – The Babe in a Manger.
Yesterday we learned about Jesus being our hope. By the grace of God, I over the next 11 days we will learn how He is just that. But before we can look further, I think we need to understand who Jesus is not. Most people, at least in North America, have heard of Jesus, but not many really grasp who He is.
Before I was saved, I had no real concept of Jesus. I sang about this holy babe in a manger, Savior of the world which was in sin and error pining, but the words had no meaning whatsoever in my mind and heart. Honestly, I just liked the music and the season associated with it, but cared not to inquire about the main subject of those old faithful Christmas hymns.
I never asked questions like, Who is the baby? Why is he so special to have Christmas centered around him? What does it mean that it was a holy night? Angels? What’s a savior and why is he in a manger? If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say I’m not the only one to have not asked those questions.
Jesus was born as a baby in a manger, a lowly, humble entrance into an indifferent world.
But He was no ordinary baby. His conception was no ordinary conception. His Father was no ordinary father. Scripture tells us:
“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. ….Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son and shall call His name Jesus……The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God…..Then Mary said, “Behold, the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.”
Luke 1:26-27, 30-31, 35, 38
Seven hundred years before this birth announcement, Isaiah prophesied about this coming Child:
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
He came as a helpless babe to a poor family in an insignificant town. But He was neither helpless, poor, nor insignificant. The writer of Hebrews describes this babe with these words:
“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, who He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power…..” Hebrews 1:1-3
Jesus is not just a sentimental baby in Christmas carols of long ago. He is Almighty God, the invisible God clothed in flesh, Creator and Sustainer of all things – including you and me; giver of your breath and mine.
He is our hope.
He is not just a babe in a manger – He holds our heart beat and life in His hands as Almighty God.
It matters that we know this.