Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Perfect Present

The Perfect Present
A Christmas Study, Part 6
by Sarah Jinright

December 23, 2012
Scripture Reading: Luke 2: 25-38

Have you been scouring the mall looking for just the right gift to give each person on your Christmas list? Advertisements bombard us this time of year—on the television, in the mail, on the computer, and in the newspaper. Many advertisements boast that their product is “the gift that keeps on giving!” If that is so, why is it after Christmas, so many people keep right on wanting?
In our Scripture today, we are introduced to two devout servants of God who are faithfully serving God and believing that he will keep his promises. Like children waiting for Christmas morning, they were waiting with faith and expectation, that Someone truly wonderful would come from God. They were clinging to a prophecy made by the prophet Isaiah in regards to the Messiah:
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
The world today is still looking for the characteristics described by these names of God. People are searching for the next best “wonderful” thing, for guidance and counsel, for power and beauty, for immortality, and for peace. During the Christmas season, we tend to rush around buying one another gifts that advance our pursuits for these fulfillments, when what we really need to end our search, is what God sent us so long ago on Christmas Day—the Christ child in the manger.
Isaiah 9:7 says that “Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.” The time surrounding Christ's birth and life were marked times of political unrest. We also live in a time when there is much concern over the state of our government. People were looking in Christ's time, as they are now, for the assurance of that perfect and just leader.
Fortunately, if we follow the star to the manger, we find help in this regard as well. No matter the state of the economy, we can always know that God's eye is on the sparrow and that He has promised to provide for our needs. No matter the outcome of an election, we can be confident that God's hand is in all things and that He is still on the throne in Heaven.
Whatever you find yourself searching for this Christmas season, open your heart to the wonderful, the counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace. Christ Jesus is all these things, and He is the child in the manger—the perfect gift of Christmas.

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