It was nice to see on my last trip to the Midwest for our Gospelair mission…
Thought it has become controversial in places like schools, shopping malls etc There it was on the counter of the library at the Mt Magnet School A model of the nativity scene
Yet it made me wonder what most seeing it here, or elsewhere, make of the child in the manger
As the world gears up for Christmas, the Saviour it has in mind for people, bears little resemblance to the One who is sung of in the carols or read about in the Bible.
It is good for us in our lead up to Christmas to ask that most important question: “What Child is this?”
- CHRIST THE SAVIOUR
- THE LIFE THREATENING NATURE OF SIN
- CHRIST – LIVING HOPE FOR THE WORLD
Readings reproduced on this page:
The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1996, 1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan
Isaiah 7:1–16 (NIV84)
1When Ahaz son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, was king of Judah, King Rezin of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel marched up to fight against Jerusalem, but they could not overpower it.
2Now the house of David was told, “Aram has allied itself with Ephraim”; so the hearts of Ahaz and his people were shaken, as the trees of the forest are shaken by the wind.
3Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out, you and your son Shear-Jashub, to meet Ahaz at the end of the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Washerman’s Field.
4Say to him, ‘Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid. Do not lose heart because of these two smoldering stubs of firewood—because of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and of the son of Remaliah.
5Aram, Ephraim and Remaliah’s son have plotted your ruin, saying,
6“Let us invade Judah; let us tear it apart and divide it among ourselves, and make the son of Tabeel king over it.”
7Yet this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “ ‘It will not take place, it will not happen,
8for the head of Aram is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is only Rezin. Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be too shattered to be a people.
9The head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is only Remaliah’s son. If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.’ ”
10Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz,
11“Ask the Lord your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.”
12But Ahaz said, “I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test.”
13Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of men? Will you try the patience of my God also?
14Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
15He will eat curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right.
16But before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste.
Matthew 1:18–25 (NIV84)
18This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.
19Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
23“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.”
24When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.
25But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.