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The Coming of the Lord

  For centuries the people waited for the coming of the Lord.  The initial promise was somewhat clothed in obscurity when God said that the seed of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent. (Genesis 3: 15)  Nevertheless, God gave understanding and revelation to His people and continued to confirm His promises to the Patriarchs in the Old Testament times.

  When the time of fulfilment drew near, the Angel Gabriel acted as God’s messenger and visited both Joseph and Mary.  He told Mary what was to take place in her life and counseled Joseph not to be fearful of which was to occur in his relationship with Mary.  In response to the words of Gabriel, “…Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” (Luke 1: 38)  Of Joseph we read that he, “did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him and took unto him Mary his wife: And knew her not until she had brought forth her firstborn son and he call his name Jesus.” (Matthew 1: 24-25)

  In writing to the churches of Galatia, St. Paul explained to them that God sent forth His Son, born of woman and under the law, to provide redemption to them that were under the law.  This was God’s means of restoring the human race to the relationship which was lost through Adam.  In Christ’s coming, He willingly subjected himself to the will of the Father—not with intent that He would destroy the law, but that He would fulfil it.  Through faith in the work of Christ, we have receive the adoption of sons and God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying Abba Father. (Galatians 4: 4-6)

And so, as we again prepare to celebrate Christmas, marking the birth of Christ, through faith we share in the common joy of all God’s people. We rejoice because “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light. They that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” (Isaiah 9:2)

Faith in the promise and in its fulfillment remains the common meeting place of people of all generations. Through faith the inhabitants of the first world enjoyed a living relationship, with God. In the Old Testament times God worked mightily through faith in the lives of His own. And in the New Testament church, we who possess the gift of faith follow in the same paths of joy, of love, and of obedience. It remains our desire to share the good news of Christ’s coming again this Christmas.

In writing to the Corinthians, St. Paul explained that he shared something important with his Old Testament brethren. He stated: “We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believe, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;” (2 Corinthians 4: 13) These words he quoted from Psalm 116 where the psalmist goes on to say: “What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord.” (Psalm 116:12,13)

  Dear friends, let us observe this Christmas in the spirit of sharing—not only that which God has given us in the way of material gifts—but in the sharing of the joy of Christ’s coming.  As we again rejoice in His first advent when He came as Saviour, let us also rejoice and share our joy in the assurance of His second advent when He comes to receive us.

From the archives of the late Pastor A.C. Holmgren December 1987

Submitted by Pastor Stan

May the Lord bless you this Christmas with the gift of faith. “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. ” Romans 15:13

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