We had a fabulous Christmas-Light Celebration last night with each of you. Thank you for being part of The Way and for being part of our faith family.
Christmas-time reminds us of the hope we have in Jesus. Hope of an abundant life now. Hope of an eternal life in the presence of God. Hope that we will not be alone. For the follower of Jesus, our hope will not disappoint. We have our hope aimed appropriately when it centers on the promises of God's Word.
Many years before that first Christmas, people were given a special hope but they were not in the best of situations to receive it. They had fallen far away from God time and time again. They no longer wanted God to be their leader. They had asked for a king to rule them (like the other nations had). God had granted them their request. This king was not a good king. Some people probably realized their mistake...others probably did not.
Then, to begin to point the people's hope, God raised up a good king...a king after His own heart - King David. The people celebrated. Yet, David wouldn't live forever. Would the people have to live through bad kings in the future. Yes. Anytime we rely upon human leadership we will essentially live on a roller coaster. Good leaders are 'high times' and bad leaders are 'low times'. So God gives a message of hope (Thru the Prophet Nathan) while David is on the throne:
‘Furthermore, the LORD declares that he will make a house for you—a dynasty of kings! For when you die and are buried with your ancestors, I will raise up one of your descendants, your own offspring, and I will make his kingdom strong. He is the one who will build a house—a temple—for my name. And I will secure his royal throne forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. If he sins, I will correct and discipline him with the rod, like any father would do. But my favor will not be taken from him as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from your sight. Your house and your kingdom will continue before me for all time, and your throne will be secure forever.’” So Nathan went back to David and told him everything the LORD had said in this vision. (2 Samuel 7:11-17 NLT)
God tells David (and thus tells the people) that they will not have to depend on human kings in the future. He encourages them to place their hope in The One who will come and fill the throne forever - eternally. God promises to bring about an eternal King from within the family of David. How will He do this since men pass away. He will be His Father and this King will be His Son. This is a prophetic look at the coming of Jesus Messiah. This is an early glimpse of the promise of Christmas.
Many other prophecies are fulfilled in the coming of Jesus but none are more important than seeing our coming King. We would not have to seek out a human ruler. We would not have to endure poor leadership. We would know perfection in the rule and reign of Jesus - in our hearts. Would we accept this King? Would we give Him the place of rule and reign in our heart? Would we place our hope in Him and Him alone? Those were all questions that would have to wait for many centuries as the people waited. Those are all still questions that are valid today. Is your hope in Jesus? Not just the baby in the manger...but the King on the throne!