O Come, Let Us Adore Him

Bible Book: Luke  2 : 10-14
Subject: Christ, Birth of; Jesus; Christmas

War always brings destruction and shatters peace. So it was in Williamsburg, Virginia at the College of William and Mary during the Civil War. The war was fought up and down the peninsula, and the college was left in ruins. The college struggled to survive, but in 1881, its doors closed. For nearly seven years there was no school. Yet, every morning during those years, President Ewell rang the chapel bell. He rang it through the summer's sun and the winter's snow. There was no faculty and no students. The rain dripped through the decaying roofs of the deserted old buildings; but President Ewell rang the chapel bell. In the tones of the bell, the residents of the little town detected the tones of peace, faith and hope.

It was in such a depressing atmosphere that the prophet Isaiah lived. Though Jerusalem was ruined and Judah had fallen, the prophet's peace, faith and hope was not dimmed or shaken. Like President Ewell, his eyes were fixed on better days, days of peace. Isaiah broke into song as he wrote these words:

"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned... For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:2, 6).

The prophecy of Isaiah became reality in the birth of Jesus Christ. Never had God touched the world with such love as on that night in the stable of Bethlehem. The angel declared the good news to the shepherds: "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."

The angel was joined by a chorus of angels who sang: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men" (Luke 2:10-12, 14).

The miracle of God's love had arrived on earth. People walking in darkness without the presence of God, without the love of God could now know God personally through His Son, Jesus Christ. This miraculous birth is what Christmas is all about. It's true that the traditions of Christmas, the tree, gifts, time with friends and family is a wonderful part of Christmas, but the true meaning of Christmas is found in Jesus.

Is Christmas for you simply a holiday- a day out of school, a day off from work? Is it a hollow day, a day of empty bickering over presents, relatives, a day of tears? Or is it a holy day - a day of worship, praise and acceptance of God's greatest gift?

Consider these three views of Christmas:

I. O Come, Let Us Ignore Him

A few years ago I had the privilege of visiting The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. It is believed to be built over the site of the birth of Christ. I was disappointed as I arrived at the church to be surrounded by children and adults selling souvenirs. In the materialism of the moment it seemed little more than a crude tourist attraction. The significance of the experience for me was dulled by so many who ignored the true meaning of Christ's birth. Then I thought, "We cannot be too hard on these people. Many back home ignore Christ in the same way."

II. O Come, Let Us Explore Him

The response of the shepherds to the message about Jesus was appropriate. They said, "Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord has made known unto us" (Luke 2:15b).

Perhaps in seeking new meaning and new direction in life your searching will lead you to express what Napoleon, the famous French leader once said: "Everything in Christ astonishes me... The nearer I approach (Him), the more carefully I examine; I search in vain in history to find one similar to Jesus Christ, or anything which can approach the Gospel. Neither history, nor humanity, nor the ages, nor nature, offer me anything with which I am able to compare it or explain it. Here everything is extraordinary."

III. O Come, Let Us Adore Him

Like the Wise Men who came to worship the Christ Child and to present gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, seeing Jesus is the Son of God we do well to worship and adore Him.

An outstanding Bible teacher, W. Y. Fullerton, once wrote, "If Christ is not born, Christmas is nothing; if Christ is not Christ, Christmas is nothing; if Christ is not Savior, Christmas is nothing, if Christ is not Lord, Christmas is nothing; if Christ is not known, Christmas is nothing, if Christ is not for me, Christmas is nothing."

The truth is: Christ is born; Christ is Christ; Christ is Savior; Christ is Lord; Christ is known; Christ is for me and Christ is for you!