||Walking in the Valley
A bi-weekly column for those who live and walk in Silicon Valley
by Barbara Dahlgren
Some say the story of Christmas begins with the birth of the Christ child but long before Jesus was born there was something wonderful…the promise of his coming and the promise of redemption for mankind.
Psalm 130:7-8 “O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with Him is full redemption. He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.”
Jeremiah 23:4-5 said a day was coming when God would raise up a king who would reign wisely and do what was right. His name would be “The Lord Our Righteousness.”
Isaiah 11:2-5 said the Spirit of the Lord would rest on Him, and the spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, power, knowledge, fear of the Lord. He would not judge by what he saw or heard but with righteousness.
Isaiah 9:6-7 “Unto us a child will be born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. He will be called: Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.”
Over 300 prophecies were fulfilled through the birth of Jesus, his life, his ministry, his death and resurrection. Not just the promise of Christ’s coming was revealed in scripture but the details of how it would take place. This truly was a miraculous event!
He would be from the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10 ~ Luke 3:3), a descendant of Abraham (Genesis 12:3 ~ Matthew 1:1), Isaac (Genesis 17:19 ~ Luke 3:24), Jacob (Numbers 24:17 ~ Matthew 1:2), Jesse (Isaiah 11:10 ~ Romans 15:12), and David (Jeremiah 23:5-6 ~ Matthew 1:1).
He would be born of a woman (Genesis 3:15 ~ Galatians 4:4), a virgin (Isaiah 7:11 ~ Luke 1:26-31) in Bethlehem (Micah 5: 2 ~ Luke 2:4-7), worshipped by shepherds (Psalm 72:9 ~ Luke 2:8-15) and honored by kings (Psalm 72:10, 17; Isaiah 60:3 ~ Matthew 2:1-11). The slaughter of children (Jeremiah 31:15 ~ Matthew 2:16-18) and flight to Egypt (Hosea 11:1 ~ Matthew 2:14-15) were foretold as well. The list goes on and on.
I love the thought of jolly old St. Nick, stockings hung with care, sleigh bells jingling in the snow, trees twinkling with lights, halls decked with holly, colorful presents lovingly wrapped, a snowman coming to life, Christmas card greetings, kissing under the mistletoe, and a red-nosed reindeer. I laugh when I hear “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” and secretly wish Santa would slip a sable (faux sable, if I want to be politically correct) under the tree for me. It all adds to the festivities! But it can’t compare with the redemption of man kind. Let us not forget that without Christ there is no Christmas. Only in honoring his birth can we truly partake of genuine joy in celebrating!
For me, Robert Louis Stevenson summed up the meaning of Christmas in his Christmas Prayer poem…
help us rightly to remember
the birth of Jesus, that
we may share in the songs
of the angels, the gladness
of the shepherds, and the
worship of the wise men.
May the Christmas morning
make us happy
to be your children.
Robert Louis Stevenson
So this Christmas season as you sing your favorite carols, may you remember the birth of Jesus. May it fill you with gladness to be a child of God!
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