The Magic Of Christmas

“Fear Not” 


Christmas is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year; everything and everyone is decked out! There are parties to attend, joyful music on the radio, food and gifts galore. Unfortunately, there is another side to the holidays. 

For many of us, Christmas can be a time of deep loneliness and stress and fear. Maybe you’ve lost someone, are going through a divorce, or are worried about how you’re going to keep the lights on, let alone put presents under the tree. The pressure to keep up with society’s version of the holidays can be overwhelming, triggering anxiety and depression. 

However, these feelings are not unique to our current culture. Worry and fear have been lurking in the shadows since the very first Christmas. The characters in the Christmas story had everything to be afraid of. Joseph, Mary, the shepherds, and the wise men lived in a scary world filled with uncertainty. God knew this and sent his messenger, the angel Gabriel, to deliver the news of a Savior. Each time Gabriel brought the message, he started with, “Do not be afraid.” 

What can we take away from this? First, I’m certain angels are terrifying! Second, even in the most frightening of circumstances, God has a plan. Herein lies the magic of Christmas. Jesus, born in a manger, in the middle of the desert, under the rule of a tyrant, was the hope of all humankind. This is what we celebrate. No matter what is going on in our lives or in the world around us, Jesus is our hope. 

Jessica Arnette 
Care Network

Scripture Refrence: And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

Luke 1:30 KJV

https://bible.com/bible/1/luk.1.30.KJV


And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

Luke 2:10 KJV

https://bible.com/bible/1/luk.2.10.KJV

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The Magic Of Christmas

The Thrill of Hope” 


Is there anyone more expectant than a child at Christmastime? Pinterest is full of DIY calendars to help answer the eternal question, “How many days until Christmas?” Children are expectant, or hopeful, that their desires will be fulfilled and that a new dollhouse or game system will appear under the tree. 

They spend hours fiddling with wrapped gifts, desperately trying to decipher what each one contains. Then Christmas Eve comes and the anticipation is more than their little hearts can handle. They lie awake all night, waiting for the sliver of a sunrise to pounce on their parents and declare that it is finally Christmas! 

Imagine living in the days leading up to Jesus’ birth. Political darkness reigned in the region; oppression and hopelessness were commonplace. God had promised that he would send a Savior one day. After centuries passing with this promise hanging over them, you can imagine that many people lost hope. Many even stopped believing. 

Those that still believed were looking toward an event that would reshape humanity—an event that many assumed would come through the powerful hand of a great conqueror, through the deliverance of a nation by a mighty king who would rescue them from oppression and slavery. Instead, what they received was the birth of a child from a scared young woman in an unbelievable scenario. Their Christmas (Savior) story was not what they expected it to be. 

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” – Isaiah 7:14 

“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” – Luke 2:11 

The birth of Jesus represents a promise fulfilled. The world around us may seem dark, and it may seem like our prayers are met with silence, but there is always cause for hope. He fulfills his promises. What would our days look like if we lived expectantly about what God is capable of doing? May this Advent season represent a time of anticipation for the wonderful things God has in store for us. His promises never fail! 

Shana Hamrick 
Weekday

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

Isaiah 7:14 KJV

https://bible.com/bible/1/isa.7.14.KJV

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:11 KJV

https://bible.com/bible/1/luk.2.11.KJV

The Magic Of Christmas

“Christ: Not a Last Name” 


First name. Last name. In our Western society, we are accustomed to this way of writing someone’s name. 

As we approach Christmas, it’s important to be aware that Jesus’ parents were not Joseph and Mary Christ. Much to the chagrin of my kids (who have asked this often), Christ is not Jesus’ last name. Christ is an equally important part of his name—a name that is unique to him. 

Jesus was fully man—a person with emotions, appetites, and needs, just like you and me. If you’ve ever been frustrated trying to relate to God, just know that he went to great lengths to relate to you. Jesus of Nazareth was and is God’s most empathetic offering. 

Christ, though, is just as important. The word “Christ” comes from the Greek term “Christos,” which means “chosen one” or “anointed one.” Over and over again in the Old Testament, there were hints of a coming Messiah or a coming Christ who would not be anointed by an earthly king. Instead, this one who was to come would be anointed by the heavenly King and, therefore, would be the Christ. 

As you read in 1 Chronicles 17:11–14, this prophesied Christ would come from God to “establish his kingdom” and would “establish his throne forever.” 

According to Isaiah 7:14, he would be “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Though he didn’t come like we thought he would, he did come. In love, wrapped in swaddling clothes, he showed up. 

When he became a man, he began inviting others to follow him. And he invites us as well. In John 1:41, Andrew, one of his earliest followers, said it so well to his brother Simon: 

“We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 

As we wait for Christmas, remember that we are not merely waiting for the celebration of a baby who was born. We celebrate the Christ, the fulfillment of God’s promise, the assurance that God’s Word is good, and the certainty that he can still be trusted. Thank God today for Jesus, the man, and Christ, the rescuer sent from God. After all, just as Andrew had, we have found the Messiah (that is, the Christ)! 

Clay Scroggins 
Lead Pastor 

Scripture References: 

And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom.  He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever.  I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee:  But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore.

1 Chronicles 17:11‭-‬14 KJV

https://bible.com/bible/1/1ch.17.11-14.KJV

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

Isaiah 7:14 KJV

https://bible.com/bible/1/isa.7.14.KJV

He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.

John 1:41 KJV

https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.1.41.KJV