Think of it. Before the foundation of the world was laid, God had conceived His redemptive plan to reconcile His creation unto Himself. He determined to send His one and only Son on a sacrificial mission. God took on flesh, dwelt among humanity, and offered Himself for the sins of the world. Through this divine work, we have come to experience life and forgiveness.
I am amazed that God not only set forth this incredible plan, but He also had the power to fulfill every detail of it. Indeed, our God demonstrated His absolute sovereignty over history, worldwide events, and authorities. In the birth narrative alone, the Lord actually uses the hearts of pagan rulers to accomplish His purpose. For example, He moved upon the will of Caesar Augustus, the ruler of the known world, in order to fulfill the prophecy regarding the Messianic birth site. Thanks to Caesar’s issuance of a decree calling for a census of the empire, Joseph and Mary were “forced” to leave Nazareth for Bethlehem (Luke 2:1-14). Unknowingly, Augustus was submitting to the God of Heaven and was assuming an instrumental role in ensuring the birth of Jesus in the city of David. In a similar fashion, God used the evil Herod and his threatening attitude to turn the holy family toward Egypt. Why? The Father sent them there in order to fulfill Hosea’s prediction, “Out of Egypt I called My Son” (Matthew 2:15). Even Herod’s son, Archelaus, prompted Joseph to relocate his family back to Nazareth instead of Judea and subsequently assured that Jesus would be called a Nazarene (Matthew 2:23). Time and time again, God demonstrated His ability to use political rulers and historical events to achieve His will as it related to His Son. Of course, this sovereignty is not only evident in the infancy narratives; it can be seen throughout the scriptures. Our God reigns! The birth of Christ is only one powerful example of His supreme power.
I hope that you will rest in that truth this Christmas. Remember, God, who relentlessly sought our salvation and sufficiently provided for it, is the One who continues to work on our behalf. Thank Him for His sovereign care and gracious love! Delight in Him alone!
We will resume our regular Sunday morning schedule this week as we join together in worship of our great God. In addition, we will go caroling at 5 p.m. Sunday evening. That is one of my favorite moments during this time of year!
Lastly, the Walsworth family has invited us to an Open House at their new home from 3-4:30 p.m. Sunday to celebrate the Lord’s provision and power. As most of you remember, their house burned during Thanksgiving week of 2016. But now through God’s work, they have rebuilt and have returned home. I personally give thanks for their consistent testimony throughout this difficult year, and I praise the Lord that He has renewed them. What a joy for us as a church family to gather around Jason, Jada, Jalyn, and Jase this week to remember God’s sovereign care! See you Sunday!