Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas (2014)!

Dear Friends and Family,
Here is the story of the 'Birth of Jesus' from Luke 1:26-38, 2:1-7, and Matt. 1:18-25. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3Wee965-hI&list=UU1WIe-jToI7fechE7-auVrQ

1) Watch and Listen to the Story (link above). Then 2) Read the Commentary (below).  

God’s people were in their land but living under Roman rule. They were waiting for God’s King to come and restore God’s reign. God revealed His plan by sending an angel to the Virgin Mary who was engaged to Joseph, a descendant of David. The angel said the ‘Holy Spirit’ would enable Mary to conceive so that her child would be the ‘Son of God’. Mary’s child would reign on David’s throne and rule over God’s people forever. Mary’s response was, “I’m the Lord’s servant, ‘let it be to me as you say’.

Joseph planned to break the relationship until an angel told him in a dream that Mary’s pregnancy was from God’s Spirit. Mary would have a son and they were to name him Jesus for he would save God’s people from their sins. In His own timing and way God was working out His plan through the faithfulness of ordinary people like Mary and Joseph!
Merry Christmas from South Africa.

The Roman Emperor, Caesar Augustus, seemed to be in charge for he issued a decree and everyone returned to their hometowns.  God was working so that Joseph, a descendant of David, would go to the very place the Messiah was to be born, Bethlehem. There Mary gave birth to a son, who they named Jesus as the angel had said. All this was to fulfil the words of the Prophet Isaiah—a virgin will give birth to a son, and he will be called, “God with us”. God had sent His Son to forgive His people and restore His presence among His people.

God was working out His plan despite the evil intent of Rome and its powerful Emperor.  Augustus had turned Rome from a republic to empire and many thought of him as the ‘Lord and Saviour’ of the world.  He even declared his dead adoptive father, Julius Caesar, to be divine making Augustus the ‘son of divine Julius.’ While Augustus probably never heard of Jesus within a few centuries the Roman Emperor and the Empire would become Christian. Today the Roman Empire is long gone, but the Empire of King Jesus, despite opposition, continues its methodical worldwide expansion 

Merry Christmas (2014),
Jay, Laura, Clara, Katherine and Lauren Stoms

No comments: