of Christmas don’t so much come from the presents we might be given,
but are tied to our response to the Child born in Bethlehem 2,000
years ago. When we read the Christmas story from the Bible, hear it
on the radio, or at a Carol Service, there are at least three ways
in which we can respond.
response was given by the innkeeper when Mary and Joseph wanted to
find a room where the Child could be born. The innkeeper was not
hostile; he was not opposed to them, but his inn was crowded – “there
was no room for them in the inn”;
his hands were full; he had plenty to do already. This is the answer
that millions are giving today. Like a Bethlehem innkeeper, they
cannot find room for Christ. All the accommodations in their hearts
are already taken up by other crowding interests. Their response is
not atheism. It is not defiance. It is preoccupation and the feeling
of being able to get on reasonably well without Christianity.
response was given by King Herod. His answer was one of hostility.
In his raging jealousy, when Herod heard that a King had been born,
all the children that were in Bethlehem….from two years old and
This type of response over the years grew and swelled until one day
it became a mad mob's terrifying roar: "Away
with Him, away with Him, crucify Him."
In many parts of the world, this cry is still being shouted. The
world objects to the Lord Jesus Christ. If He would remain a gentle
and mild Jesus, that would be all right; there is no danger there.
Or if He was a mystical dreamer, or if we could put Him up in a
stained-glass window and He would never come down to trouble us,
then that would be all right. But a Christ whom God gave to save us
from the consequences of our sin through His sacrificial death on
the cross, a life-changing Christ--that is what is unacceptable to
millions of people. That is a menace to their way of life. It
strikes at the roots of their independence.
response was totally different. It came from an old priest in the
Temple in Jerusalem by the name of Simeon. He took the Lord’s
Christ, the baby Jesus, in his arms and said, "My
eyes have seen your salvation."
The angel Gabriel had announced even before the babe was conceived
that Mary was to have a child, and He was to be called Jesus, “for
He would save His people from their sins”. The Lord Jesus came to be
a Saviour, and Simeon recognised this as he held Him in his arms. Do
we see in that Babe, born now so long ago, the One whom God sent to
be our Saviour from sin. The Bible says that “God
so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever
believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”.
May you come to believe in Him as your Saviour at this Christmas
time, and submit your life to Him. The Apostle Peter was right when
is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven
given to men by whom we must be saved."