The Christmas story is replete with different facets to excite and inspire. It has so many threads, that it is a tapestry. Some of this tapestry I desire to weave here on this site.
First of all, as I meditated on this message, I thought of the ones God did not invite to meet the Baby Messiah. The priests and scribes were learned men, yet they did not discern the changes which Luke 2 relates, where Simeon and Anna sensed a change in the spiritual realm, in their prayers, in their walk, there was a new activity. Yet the “religious system” of the day was locked into the cycles of sacrifices, prayers, merchandising in the temple courts. Yet in their peripheral vision subtle changes went unnoticed.
Only to be interrupted by the visit of the wise men, who asked the birthplace of the Messiah. The scribes found the place but did not discern the time. This lack of discernment counted against them in God’s invitation book.
Herod, a King who tore down the temple for it lacking majesty, spent 46 years renovating, to inaugurate the only temple that is not contemplated in any biblical narrative. The same king who was stirred into disquiet that signs in heaven indicated the birth of a great king. It is evident not only by angelic warning, but the killing of innocent males of 2 years and under, showed that he had no part in promoting another Kingdom. God had counted against him from the Book of Invitation.
Yet in a far off land, a star appeared to get the attention of 3 wise and discerning men. These God was calling to a great journey. A journey of faith.
The star beckoned them to leave all that was known, to those places unknown, not just geographically, but spiritually. The star was beckoning them to an audience with the King of Kings…as all indicates they were men of great possession, to be able to devote time to their journey of faith.
And so these were the first God called in the timing of His Invitation, and as He called them, so He calls you, His star is in your life, beckoning you this Christmas to a new journey for 2019, a deeper journey, where you will see and touch Him. I was meditating recently on this meeting, as they came unto Bethlehem, with gifts, and with these expressions of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, they were expressing what God had revealed to them on their journey…that who they came to visit, was the King, the Priest and the Prophet. As I was on retreat in Somerset, I saw these gifts as proofs of their recognition, and as they had come so far, so their audience was filled with worship and awe, as they were ushered into the divine plan of God…so privileged.
So God desires this Christmas to show you His Person, His flow out to you. He comes to you as your King, bringing order and harmony, He comes to you as Priest, bringing Grace and Peace, He comes to you as Prophet bringing you deep healing from wounds and hurts, to bring you into intimacy with Him.
And the Lord by His Angels, called the shepherds, because Jesus was and is the Good Shepherd. Their humility and careful hearts meant that when the heavenly hosts moved together in worship and proclamation, the shepherds recognised that something great was happening and rushed to the place Jesus was. What an invitation! The whole of the heavenly host displayed their joy and awe that finally the work of God was to be complete.
And we come to Simeon and Anna, who by the Spirit received the complete revelation of a King, who would come to unite Jew and Gentile to bring about His plan through an Ecclesia gathered together in the same Spirit filled baptism. They were invited to see beyond the babe to see the Son of God.
These invitations had different ways to call each one, and God brings you His Invitation to celebrate a different Christmas, unwrapping beyond tradition, beyond custom, beyond culture, to see that God’s invitation is to a deeper life. A life that has beautiful dimension of significance, and truths that unlock dimensions of purposeful and intimate life with God.
Those who discern and desire to follow what they discern are invited to see and touch the Son, and those obedient to journey with Him and for Him, shall come into His Audience.
Those who worship shall come close to Him, in whatever form He comes to us.
Those who offer to Him their gifts that reflect His person shall come to Him in glorious meeting.
The Christmas message is God’s invitation to come closer. to behold Him, and to come unto Union with Him.