Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Christmas Story

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is watching "The Christmas Story" with Ralphie being told by his mother that he's going to "shoot his eye out" and his brother Randy struggling to keep up with his bigger brother.

This time of the year, it's good to remember the true Christmas Story. It's more than a family tradition as it's the celebration of the birth of the most influential person in the history of the world.

The best way to understand the true Christmas story is to read it in the Bible. The first couple of chapters in the books of Matthew and Luke have the entire account: Mary and Joseph, no room in the inn, the shepherds, angels and magi. The account of Christ?s birth is presented simply and factually, giving only enough of the essential information for a basic two-fold purpose. John 20:31 gives us this two-fold purpose where it says, ?These have been written that (1) you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that (2) believing, you may have life in His name.?

Throughout the scriptures, God had made known through His prophets and messengers that a Messiah would come. All of the events of Jesus' birth took place exactly as recorded hundreds of years earlier. Over 700 years prior to the scene recorded in Matthew, the prophet Isaiah recorded, "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" or "God with us" (Isaiah 7:14)

The prophet Micah, a contemporary of Isaiah and ministering to the people of Israel during the reigns of King Jotham (750-731 BC) King Ahaz (736-715 BC) and King Hezekiah (715-686) said that the Messiah would be born in the city of Bethlehem , again over 700 years before the actual recorded birth of Jesus.

The birth, death and resurrection of Jesus is perhaps the most widely reported and historical event of all time. At this time of the year it's good to be reminded that it's in believing this simple Christmas Story that we may have life in His name.

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