Many times we look to the coming of Christmas as the culmination of the all the efforts and preparation. We get things out of order a little. While Christmas is the culmination of Advent it is the beginning, not the end. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
During the year there are many significant dates. On the racing calendar Daytona marks the beginning of the racing season. Time to get things started. For Christians, Christmas marks the beginning of the life of Christ.
John 1:1-4,1:12-14; In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men.
… to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God– children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Are you busy? Do you have your shopping done? Too many parties, not enough time? The holidays can be a tremendously busy time. We spend more money than we have. We struggle to get everything done. For most of us it is like a race. We are looking for the finish line, if we can just get through to Christmas morning. I am here to tell you, Christmas is not the finish line. Christmas is the beginning. Christmas is the gift that God sent to each one of us. The opportunity to live!
The coming of his birth foretold by the prophets.
Isaiah 9-6; For to us a child is born, to us a son is given and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah helps us understand the character of our Savior; wonderful, mighty, everlasting, giver of peace. It also helps us understand the priority he should have in our lives; God, Father, Prince and Counselor. Isaiah told of the Savior yet to come.
Luke 2:4-7; Joseph went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
We race for the finish line, but this is a race to the starting line. Think of all the work in the shop to get to the track, Joseph and Mary made the trek to Bethlehem, they had no choice but to go to the town of their ancestors. Shunned by family and not being welcome they searched for a place to stay. They found a stable and a manger. The humblest beginnings for our Savior.
He arrived on that first Christmas with only the animals of the stable there as witnesses. His earthly parents, Joseph and Mary knew the destiny of this child. They had found favor with God and were part of the wonderful event, the coming of the Messiah. On the night of Jesus’ birth the angels proclaimed to the shepherds his arrival.
Luke 2:8-1; And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
The shepherds left their flocks and went to find this Savior. When they found him they went out and proclaimed his glory. The beginning of the efforts to proclaim the good news of great joy, a savior has been born. He would save his people from death and destruction.
When the proclamation of the Savior comes which way will we run? Will we run to his side and claim him as our own or will we be too busy chasing after the things of the world that keep us busy?
I have often thought of what I would do if an angel of the Lord came and visited me. Remember how they came to Mary and Joseph? Each one received a visit. The angel announced what would take place with each of them, Mary would be with child and Joseph would take Mary for his wife. Together they would be responsible for bringing a child into the world that would be the Savior of the world.
Would I embrace the message? Would I respond as Mary did “May it be with me as you have said, I am the Lord’s servant.”? Would I be too busy to even notice? We all have the decision to make. Jesus himself came to demonstrate his love for us. Will we accept it? Will we even break away from our busyness to notice? Christmas is the beginning. The race doesn’t end when we get there. This Christmas season take time to begin anew, take time to contemplate what took place over 2,000 years ago for you and I. For unto us a child is born, a savior.
From all of us at Racing with Jesus Ministries we extend the warmest greetings for a blessed Christmas. May this Christmas be a beginning for you and those special to you. With the love of our Lord and Savior, until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.