Today’s Scrip-Bit   12 December 2021 Luke 2:11.

Luke 2:11.     For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 

And as that most momentous day draws nearer, the expectations rise, the preparations become more intense and anxiety filled! Will everything be done in time for the big day? Food and drink prepared, presents bought and wrapped, the house spruced up to reflect the joyful nature of the celebrations, with beautiful strains of appropriate music being heard in every corner. 

And are we shouting ‘Merry Christmas’ instead of ‘Happy Holidays’ to our friends, families and neighbours? Most importantly though, are we keeping Jesus in our mind’s eye as we rush around preparing to celebrate His Birthday? Remember, He, or His birth is the reason for the Christmas season, and thus we ought to have Him uppermost in our thoughts and words. 

But enough talk, let’s get to some singing as we open today’s session of praise, worship and thanksgiving, with rejuvenation of spirit, body and soul being one of the end products. And our song for today is one of our all-time Christmas favourites…an oldie, but a goldie, titled ‘O Come All Ye Faithful.’ Mama Mia! What a beautiful hymn! 

They say it’s an adaptation of a Latin hymn ‘Adeste Fidelis’ and it harkens to the biblical story of the birth of Christ. ‘It is considered a reference to the shepherds, after hearing the angels singing, coming to Bethlehem to adore their new-born Saviour. Today this hymn signifies and celebrates our coming together in worship to adore the LOVING blessing of Jesus, as He sacrificed Himself for our salvation.’ 

So, without further ado, let’s offer up harmonious, soulful, heartfelt sacrifices of praise to our Lord and Saviour for coming to earth in our fleshly form. Altogether now: ‘O come, all ye faithful, Joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem. Come and behold Him, Born the King of Angels! (Chorus: O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.) 

God of God, light of light, Lo, he abhors not the Virgin’s womb; True God, begotten, not created: (Chorus) O Sing, choirs of angels; sing in exultation O sing, all ye citizens of heav’n above. Give to our Father, Glory in the highest! (Chorus) Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, Born this happy morning; Jesus, to Thee be the glory giv’n; Word of the Father, Now in the flesh appearing, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.’ 

Magnifico mih bredrin! Magnifico! There could be no doubt in heaven that we were serious about our sacrifice of praise to our Triune God! And I don’t remember which website I got this information from, but I like it (smile). It says: ‘The encouragement to “come, all ye faithful, . . . to Bethlehem” situates the singer both among the shepherds who rushed to see Christ and in the great continuation of the “faithful” that have traveled to Bethlehem in a spiritual nature for over 2,000 years. Although today, we cannot actually witness Jesus in the manger, we can come to Bethlehem in a symbolic sense. We can be there in our imaginations as we allow the Christmas story to hearten our spirits.’ 

So, let’s hear some of the Christmas Story as related in the Good Book nuh. We all know that Joseph and a pregnant Mary, Jesus’ mother, went up to Bethlehem to be taxed according to the decree of the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus. And while there Mary gave birth to Jesus in a stable, because all the hotels, and B&Bs were full. The Good Book tells it thus: ‘And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger (a feed trough) because there was no room for them in the inn.’ (Luke 2:7) 

And for our information, the scholars tell us that ‘Swaddling clothes’ were bandage-like strips of cloth wrapped around an infant to ensure that the infant’s limbs would grow straight.  Not to swaddle a child would be a form of abuse (Ezek. 16:2-4) This wrapping would aid the shepherds in identifying Jesus.’  

Now the Good Book continues the story: ‘And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon (stood before) them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore (greatly) afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all the people. 

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes (cloths), lying in a manger (feed trough). And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God, in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men.’ (Luke 2:8-14) 

Ah friends, what a wonderful worship session that must have been, with heavenly hosts singing down here on earth! And as we are all wont to do, after hearing some very interesting news, after the angels left, the shepherds decided to check to see if the story was true. The Good Book describes it thus: ‘And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 

And all they that heard it wondered (marvelled) at those things which were told them by the shepherd. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. And all the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.’ (Luke 2:16-20) 

Now that was two thousand years ago, and remarkably, we are still glorifying and praising God for all the things that He has done through Jesus. That sure is wonderful! And we do need to keep on adoring and exalting Him, because He is the greatest thing, the greatest gift ever given to man! 

So, as we leave our worship services today, let’s remember the good news that the angels delivered on that first Christmas Day so long ago, and let’s take it to heart, behave as though it’s the first time we are hearing the story and allow it to fill us with adoration and exaltation for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Much LOVE!

…what would Christmas be without Christ eh…nothing…for it would not exist…                                                                                                                                                  

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