December: A Word from the Pastor

with usGod accomplishes His purposes in unexpected ways.

When the appointed time had come to send His Son, the manner of this most important event in all of human history was amazing. Jesus was not born in a splendid palace that reflected His glory. He was not born in a great city of the world to make a grand entrance. His parents were not noble or notable figures in the Jewish society. No, the presentation of the promised “seed of the woman” (Genesis 3:15) was fulfilled in humble circumstances. Jesus was born to a righteous couple of relative insignificance. He was born in the small town of Bethlehem among a people dominated by foreign rulers. His spectacular birth announcement made by a choir of angles was made to a few shepherds tending their flocks by night. The miracle of the Son of God taking the form of man – fully God, fully Man “yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15) – was presented by the newborn child being placed in a manger – a feeding trough for animals.

This might not be the way we would present the Messiah to the world, but it was God’s way.

The Son of God humbled Himself and took the from of a servant that He might minister saving grace and kingdom rule. He came in such a way as to declare His heart for lowly individuals. The natural heart of man is full of pride, but arrogance cannot conceal the sense of unworthiness that is also bound up in the human heart. God declares His willingness to reach down to the lowest of sinners – a message that is included in His humble beginnings. He came to serve – not to be served. He came to proclaim the gospel message – the good news of salvation from sin and death by His death on the cross. And this death is for sinners – the lowest of sinners.

The birth of Christ that we celebrate at Christmas time declares the willingness of the Son to submit to the will of the Father in giving Himself to save the lost.

As we look at our own hearts, we are thankful that Jesus Christ came to save “even me!” He gave Himself for worthless and disobedient sinners – “especially me”. We are forever grateful that He was willing to be born a baby in Bethlehem in order that we might have everlasting life. His was a humble birth with glorious consequences for all who trust in Him. Glory be to God!

– Gary W. Custis