God speaks... he really does! [especially at Christmas]
In today's 24/7 connected world, many hurried, harried people do not really stop and think of why we do what we do. Take Christmas, for example. Unless we are Christians, we just let Christmas happen, not thinking of the 'why' or the 'who' of the Holy-day. Like, why is it a holiday? Many do not bother to think the whole thing through, contenting themselves with parties, Santa Claus, Frosty and decorated trees.
But today, I should like to raise the banner that Christmas began in the mind of God; and as such, is a wonderful opportunity to hear the voice of God.
Let's go back--way back, like to the beginning. After God created Adam and then Eve, he literally came down and talked with them in the Garden of Eden.1
Think of that for a minute; it is how our relationship with God was meant to be.
After the fateful choice made by the first humans, God actively began ordering the events of time until we would once again communicate face to face, and that for eternity. Scripture is clear that Jesus came in “the fullness of time,"2 at just the right time . . . at the time appointed by the Father.
No, Christmas did not just happen. Mary's was not an unplanned pregnancy!
You see, God had been speaking about the coming Messiah for hundreds of years before that Bethlehem night. Long before the people of God had the written scriptures to hold in their hands. . . long before any printing press, God spoke to prophets.
One of the things I love about reading the Bible daily is discovering new things, seeing connections I had not previously made--true inspiration I do not want to live without. Besides archaeology, one of the very strong proofs for the truth of Scripture is prophecy. Incredible to read what God spoke to the prophets that was recorded in the Old Testament and then actually fulfilled.
Consider just a few of the prophecies that God spoke through ordinary men hundreds of years before Jesus' birth that happened just as they said.
1. The Messiah would be born to a virgin. “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”3 Was Mary's conception inconvenient, yet divine? Of course! But definitely not unplanned!! The aforementioned prophecy spoken to Isaiah came 700 years before Jesus was born to Mary, a virgin. Incredible in every way.
fulfillment recorded: Matthew 1.21-23
2. Jesus would be born in Bethlehem. “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.”4 Spoken to Micah 500-plus years before Jesus was born in Bethlehem, long before anyone had heard of the Herod who would order all to travel to the regions of their birth to register, ostensibly the only reason Jesus was born in that tiny town.
fulfillment recorded: Matthew 2.4-6
3. There would be a star above the Messiah. “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near; A star shall come forth from Jacob, and a scepter shall rise from Israel, and shall crush through the forehead of Moab, and tear down all the sons of Sheth.”5 God positioned a star so that the Magi could worship him. fulfillment recorded: Matthew 2.1-2.
4. Gifts would be presented to Jesus. We do not usually think of the psalter, the book of Psalms as prophetic, but consider this: “May the kings of Tarshish and of distant shores bring tribute to him. May the kings of Sheba and Seba present him gifts. May all kings bow down to him and all nations serve him”6 And Matthew recorded the fulfillment: “On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh”. Matthew 2.11
Just a few of the prophecies of Jesus, who did not just bounce onto the scene unannounced so that we could have a nice colorful holiday annually. No, at the time appointed by the Father, he was born, the fulfillment of prophecies uttered hundreds of years beforehand.
These prophecies are just one of the ways to hear the voice of God, intended for you to heed this precious time of year. A Newborn King who is Christ the Lord, the Word made flesh - the very voice of God spoken to you - so you may know him and he would know you. Maybe it will be in the lyric of a carol, a line from a faith-filled Instagram post or a 'chance' encounter with someone at the gym--God will use it to speak to you. Are you listening?
Praying you look for and then encounter Jesus,
"Somewhere in your Silent Night", the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nT-5cP4BeoI
1 - Genesis 3.8
2 - Galatians 4.4
3 - Isaiah 7.14
4 - Micah 5.2
5 - Numbers 24.17
6 - Psalm 72.10-11