The story of the birth of Jesus or the ‘Nativity story’, is one most of us have heard many times; each year we especially hear it at Christmas time. We have heard it so much and know it so well that it has become a ‘story’.
May I please take us back 2000 years ago? The time before our fathers, fathers, fathers were born, when there were no phones, no internet, it was just people living in a simpler time.
After Jesus was born three wise men went to Jerusalem to search for Him, but you see , while they were searching they asked the King, the sitting King about the birth of Jesus, “the King of the Jews.”
Have a look at what was said in Matthew 2:2 King James Version.
“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.”
The King Herod was troubled after hearing the news of Jesus’ birth (Matthew 2:3), he probably knew he didn’t just give birth to any sons, so what was this news about the birth of a King? Word spread, that even all of Jerusalem was troubled along with Herod, and this wasn’t the age of texting or social media. A baby was born, in that era, babies were born all the time, but the birth of this baby was one that could not be concealed. There was no hiding it, a whole star led the wise men to where Jesus was and when they saw him they rejoiced. Matthew 2:10 King James Version says “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.”
At that time, the birth of Jesus meant different things to different people, some were troubled, some were filled with joy, it was the fulfillment of prophesy, but most importantly, it gave hope.
2000 years later, the story still lives on…. Jesus was born to save us, though He is no longer a “baby in a manger” , He is a King sitting at the right hand of God, but He still gives us that same hope. Hope of Heaven, Hope for eternal life and redemption of our souls.
The Yuletide season is upon us again, and this time I urge us to be more reflective, let us not get carried away with the festivities and the merriment. And for those who are not able to partake in the merriment because of the reality of the COVID 19 pandemic, let us remember that there is Hope in Jesus, Hope for better days and Hope for life. The words of this popular Christmas carol (O Little Town Of Bethlehem.) say it aptly. “The Hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” Jesus is the answer to all our hopes and even our fears.
I leave us with this scripture, Romans 15:13 English Standard Version
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
May the reason for the season, which is the Hope we have in Jesus, never depart from our hearts and homes. Amen.
The Revolutionary Righter.
O Little Town Of Bethlehem
O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;
Yet in the dark street shineth
The everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.
Words; Phillips Brooks
Tune; Forest Green by Ralph Vaughan Williams