When the message of Jesus came to Mary, her son was to be called the “Son of the Most High”. There’s no way Mary could have missed the significance of that terminology. Unfortunately, I believe WE sometimes miss what was actually being communicated. The fact that her baby was to be called the “Son of the Most High” pointed to His EQUALITY with Yahweh. If we are to look at this concept in Semitic thought, a son was a “carbon copy” of his father, and the phrase “son of” was often used to refer to one who possessed his “father’s” qualities. It’s hard for us to fathom that Jesus was God in the flesh! To take that to its logical conclusion, it seems to me that one of the tragedies of Christmas is that we continue to worship ‘baby’ Jesus. In fact, some of us are still in the habit of picturing Jesus in the nursery and not on the throne. It’s important that we remember the greater message of Christmas. The greater message is that this baby, who uniquely invaded the world, grew up to be the Savior of mankind. His incredible courage and contagious love compel us to visit Bethlehem, the starting place in the celestial journey of the One who came to save His people from their sins. The late scholar of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), W. E. Garrison, declared there were two high tides in the Christian year: the night of the nativity, and the morning of the resurrection. While they are events in time, they are also timeless, mysterious, and symbolic. No one can fully comprehend what happened in Bethlehem any more than one can understand what happened on Golgotha. If one can accept history and common observation, these events shape one’s entire comprehension of life! Not only do they shape our comprehension of life, they have the potential to transform us into Jesus’ image. Both the birth of Christ Jesus as well as the death, burial and resurrection proclaim the same essential message: Emmanuel, God with us; the living Christ! This holiday season don’t confuse a helpless infant lying in a manger as the message we preach. That “helpless infant” is the Creator of the universe! Herod couldn’t kill him, the apostles failed to understand Him and his own people rejected Him. But, none of that negates the fact that JESUS IS LORD.
Have a blessed day and remember the One who gave it to you! Kevin
Kevin Lough is the minister at the Whitehall Church of Christ in Fairmont WV.