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Can You See Me Now?

The Difference Maker at Christmas?

Though this season has always been my favorite time of year...

though I have attended many, many Christmas programs, choir concerts and church services...

though I have thoroughly read the gospels, especially the accounts of the birth of Jesus Christ...

though I have had the privilege of going to the little town of Bethlehem . . .

I have a confession to make.

I have missed a very important element to the old familiar story.

Perhaps I am not alone.

You see, when our hearts turn to Christmas—the season, the reason, and our own participation in the Advent, preparing our hearts for the newborn King—we usually concentrate on Jesus.  Okay and then we thank God for his marvelous plan of redemption, set in motion by sending Jesus to earth as a newborn.  But, what of the mysterious member of the Trinity?  What about the Holy Spirit at Christmas?  Where is he in the story and what was his involvement?  Hmmm.

This morning, I grabbed my Bible to look up the gospel accounts of Jesus’ birth.  Since neither Mark nor John talk about the birth in Bethlehem, I read the accounts rendered by Matthew and Luke.  As with each of the gospels, the two writers present unique takes of the story; but in each, the Bible records the role of the Holy Spirit.

The writer Luke starts his account by saying he has carefully investigated everything from the eyewitnesses of Jesus’ life in order to write an orderly account1, and describes the angel Gabriel appearing to the godly old priest Zechariah with a message. “… your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son…”2  

You simply must read for yourself what happened next!  Luke writes, “In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.”

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.”3

Did you catch the role of the Holy Spirit in the conception of Jesus? ‘I am a virgin,’ she says, ‘but, God…’ Jesus Christ immaculately conceived through the Holy Spirit.

In a similar vein, Matthew records “This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.” Twice, the angel spoke to Joseph of the Holy Spirit’s activity.

Here at Christmas time, open your heart to the activity of the Holy Spirit around you.  Note what Gabriel said to Zechariah, “the Lord has heard your prayer.”  Think of it - Zechariah was advanced in age, had likely given up that he and his bride Elizabeth would ever hold a wee babe of their own - but, God. God would give them the one who would, many years later, prepare the way for our Lord to begin his earthly ministry.

Friend, the Lord has heard your prayers too. He is at work - take heart!

'Feeling far from him? He is looking for you.

Yes, some 2000 years later, the Holy Spirit is still active, he is at work, saying 'can you see Me now? Look for Me. I am as close as you will let Me be.'

Listen, please--This is My Prayer ~

Ask Him to reveal Himself to you~


Holy Spirit #12


1 – Luke 1.2

2 – Luke 1.13

3 – Luke 1.26-38

4 – Matthew 1.18-25

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