Today is the day. Today is the day that all the preparation and planning has looked forward to. Today is the day families gather together to celebrate and visit. Today is the day that children anxiously await with great anticipation. Today is the day of gifts, reflection, and carols. Today is the day for something else. Today is the day the prophets of old spoke of concerning the coming Messiah. Today is the day, as John 1:14 tell us that, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”
Today is necessary, and the beginning point, as far as mankind is able to see, in God’s plan for his redemption. In eternity past, God had, and still has a love for us that goes beyond our comprehension and one in which words cannot do justice. It is this love for a fallen, sinful, ad rebellious race of humans that motivated God to do something on our behalf, for He knew that we could not save or rescue ourselves. Our redemption and salvation began on this day. If there had been no birth, there could have been no earthly instruction as to who God is and what He desires from us. If there were no instruction and teaching, there would have been no rejection by those Jesus came to first reveal Himself to. If there had been no rejection, there would have been no prophecy fulfillment which solidifies our hope and assurance. If there were no rejection, then there would be no crucifixion and atoning death for the sins of mankind. If there were no crucifixion and death, there certainly would have been no resurrection. A resurrection that assures us that we worship and serve a rise and living Savior. A resurrection that is the fundamental difference between all world religions. A resurrection that testifies to the truthfulness and trustworthiness of Christ to accomplish what He said He could.
So on this day I say thank you to God for the baby in the manger. Thank you for the virgin birth, the insignificant town of Bethlehem, and for the baby in the manger being named Jesus, all of which fulfilled prophecy. God, thank you for the angels that night who proclaimed the good news of the newborn king and comforted the fearful. Thank you for the shepherds who were of the first to see Jesus. Their invitation to see, and their obedient visit, testified that Jesus truly was the Savior for all of mankind. God, thank you for the visit of the wise men who, after having their hearts stirred by you, traveled great distances bearing gifts worthy of a king. Their gifts were appropriate and unknowingly prophetic.
Today is a special day. Today is a day that should not get lost in the shuffle of the holiday season. The gospel writer Matthew wrote, “ So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Today is the day of The Gift. Merry Christmas.