Christmas in 1 … Looking Back to Look Forward

Part 4 of 4 … Christmas Day.We look back to that original Christmas Day with such celebration. But for centuries, they looked forward to it.

This week, each day, we will see something from the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament text, that points to the event for which they longed.

The Person Who Points …

We’ve seen the place (Bethlehem), the presents (Magi/treasures presented) and the point in time. But an amazing aspect is the person Mary. The Gospels show us her faith, her resolve, her taking it all in. We take for granted her age and purity. But this too was talked about by the prophets.

Isaiah 7.14 says …

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Wow. This verse carries so much to unpack.

  • There will be a virgin. True, this word could mean young maiden, but the Septuagint clearly shows the Hebrews understood it as virgin. And the Gospels point to this miracle.
  • The virgin will be a sign, an indicator that something is happening, a directional marker that in itself is nothing but a pointer to something else. As blessed as Mary is among women, she is just a locator signal to something else.
  • The sign will be from the Lord himself, God almighty, Adonai.
  • This all points to “Immanuel” – that God is with us.

We put up lights. We decorate the tree. We go to worship as a church family. We sing carols. But all that should be secondary, should be signs that point to what is important.

Immanuel – God among us!

So like Mary, I want to point, to direct others to Him. But not just one season a year. I want to do it all year long. I mess up. I get distracted by lights, glimmer, mud, madness. I get busy with my work, my thoughts, my ways. But God still loves me. And I believe until he takes me home, he wants to use me.

And he wants to use you. So let’s make this season one we point to him. Let’s make 2021 a year we all point to him and light the way for others to clearly see him.

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