Merry Christmas, everyone! We praise the Lord for this holiday, what it means to Christians everywhere as well as the world (yes, Jesus came for the whole world, not some of us but all of us), and how much joy it brings us to never forget that our Lord came to earth to walk among us and die for us. As we contemplate this holiday, as we shop for bargains, discounts, and find those last-minute items to wrap for our families, let’s not forget that the Lord and His Word are central. We must make time for the Word of God in all of our busy-ness, for, if Jesus hadn’t come, there would be no “Christ-mas” to speak about. Jesus puts the Christ in Christmas; He is the reason for the season!
On tomorrow, here at The Essential Church, I will preach on the birth of Jesus Christ, the account Luke gives in Luke 2 with the shepherds in the fields who are the very first to tell the news that Jesus had been born in Bethlehem (the City of David). We’ve studied in these last two weeks how the Lord appeared to Mary to announce the pregnancy and Joseph (to confirm in his mind that Mary was pregnant because of God, not her own unfaithfulness; the Lord does this to deter Joseph from ending his engagement to Mary).
Mary was a poor Jewish woman, one who hadn’t ever had sexual intercourse, one that society thought would be the last candidate to conceive the Savior of the world. Joseph was a righteous and just man who was a virgin until after the birth of Jesus, when he and Mary conceived sons and daughters. And finally, the shepherds, who will debut in Sunday’s message, are the least of those in society. After all, Joseph told his brothers in Genesis not to tell the Egyptians that they were shepherds because “every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians” (Genesis 46:33-34). And yet, it is the underprivileged, the outcast, the “bottom” of the social ladder, that Jesus came for, that Jesus gave a role in His birth and first Advent.
We’d love to have you all listen in, but we realize that so many of our brothers and sisters in the faith are active within their own churches this time of year, preaching, teaching, singing, reaching, and working. To those of you who’re busy in the work of the Lord, we pray for your strength and resolve to see it through by His grace. Those of you that are free to listen in on the recording, we appreciate your support. The recording should be live by 12pm tomorrow, December 24th. I, like each of you, have Christmas Eve plans, so the service will be uploaded earlier than initially planned.
We love each of you, and want to wish you again, a Merry Christmas and a most blessed New Year in the Lord. May God bless you, your families, and your time with church family and biological family (and those who’re kindred spirits that have redefined family for you).
I can’t end this announcement with any words superior to those of the great Apostle Paul: “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15)
Pastor D.M. Richardson,
The Essential Church
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