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Archive for Christmas

December is Here

Moore Thoughts by Mike Moore

There are only 12 of them. We call them months and they all have a flavor, a taste, an appearance. Some bring cold weather, some hot, and others the in-between temperatures.

Now it is December. It is a magical month. December is special in many ways. No amount of commercialism can ruin Christmas for me. Nothing can downgrade December. I have always enjoyed December, as a child, a young father, and now as a grandfather.

December is wassail, a hot fruit drink my wife makes. It is eggnog and chocolate-covered cherries and special ornaments on the tree. It is carols. It is It’s a Wonderful Life in black and white and the traditional Scrooge.

December is Pearl Harbor and troops away from home and presents for prisoners’ children. It is breakfast pizza made by my wife and often served by candlelight because we got up so early on Christmas morning. It is mistletoe and holly and poinsettias and wreaths. It is Clement Clarke Moore with his Night Before Christmas and Longfellow with I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. It is Silent Night. It is the birthdays of Joel Chandler Harris, Walt Disney, Eli Whitney, Milton, Emily Dickinson and Beethoven.

It was Washington crossing the Delaware and Phi Beta Kappa being founded at the College of William and Mary. It was Valley Forge.

It is the Hallelujah Chorus.

It is 50 family members at a big dinner. It is Aunt Ruth, who admits she is over 80, now.

It is amazed shepherds and joyous angels and the best music ever written.

It is children in costumes that look much like bathrobes and towels. The serious-looking kids are gathered around something called a manger. It is candles and fragrances. It is a turkey in the oven and sweet potatoes.

December is New Year’s Eve, sometimes observed with friends or at church or at home. It is high school fo

otball playoffs and early-season basketball and some children who can’t seem to sleep. It is the sound of 50 youngsters on the street with their new roller skates during my childhood. It was my parents’ Christmas Eve wedding anniversary. December is end and beginning.

December also brings Hanukkah. And in some places, it is winter. The calendar says winter begins on the 21st. It is thousands of lights, private and public displays. Where do they plug all of these in?

And December is our wedding anniversary. It recalls the day when we stood in Tampa with the crowd of friends and family. I was stunned by the beauty of the bride. I still remember her eyes and her warm hand. We made the vows, cut the cake, ran through a hail of rice. And then 46 years sped by.

And although it probably didn’t happen during December, it is mostly about a young man and woman making a slow journey, stopping at a crowded wayside inn and finding no vacancy. It is about a birth in a cow stall and God becoming Man. The great story is told in the Bible by a man named Luke… “and the babe lying in a manger.”

And Isaiah said, “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given.”

December, so good to see you again.

 

The Virgin Birth Miracle

December 18, 2012

The absolute genius of our God is revealed in the miraculous virgin birth of my Savior. The fact that God the Holy Spirit attached the tiny embryo of His Son to the womb of a young virgin named Mary produces in me such awe and mystery that it is hard for me to process, much less express. God could have chosen to bring His Son into the world through the use of a man and a woman. The reason that He did not reveals His holiness and will ultimately determine what we believe about His magnificent grace. Let me explain!

At some point in eternity past, God determined that He was going to come into this world in order to pay man’s sin debt by dying on the cross. However, God as God cannot die because He is eternal life. Dying required that He have a human body. His transformation into a human body required a miracle that surpasses all miracles.

God’s preparation for His amazing entrance into this world began with His creation of Adam from the dust of the ground followed by the formation of Eve from a rib of Adam. Adam would be God’s representative head of the human race. The human race would come from him through the woman.

God continued the preparation for His earthly entrance. Satan tricked Eve into eating fruit that God had forbidden. The woman became a part of the fall of mankind even though she was genuinely deceived, and thus God left her womb unaffected by the fall, incapable of passing on sin to her offspring. Adam, on the other hand, took the fruit from her hands and knowingly, willfully sinned. No deceit, no trickery! Thus, the man became the transmitter of the spiritually corrupt seed (1Timothy 2:13-14; 1 Peter 1:23-25).

God determined that His Son would come into this world as King of the Jewish race (Genesis 49:10). Specifically, God chose the family line of King David (Isaiah 9:7). Both Joseph and Mary were descendants of David. In fact, Joseph was the firstborn of his family through David’s son, Solomon. He had the royal right to Israel’s throne as the firstborn heir. God, however, took great care to let us know that Jesus was not the natural son of Joseph. God threw a mysterious wrench into the works. He said that no seed of Coniah (a wicked king in the family line of Jesus) would ever rule (Jeremiah 22:30). Coniah, alias Jeconiah, was the final king of Judah before the deportation into Babylon. None of his future children could become king, and yet Jeconiah’s name is recorded in Matthew as a part of Jesus’ kingly line. This disqualified any child of Joseph from ever being the king.

Mary just happened to be in the kingly line of David through his son Nathan (Luke 3:23-38). In fact, the line ended in her. She had the blood right to the throne, free from the genetic curse of Coniah. And, in the sovereignty of God, she fell in love with Joseph who had the royal first born right to the throne. It was no accident that Mary and Joseph found each other. Through this union and the virgin birth, the curse of Jeconiah was bypassed and God accomplished His ultimate purpose. God is a genius, is He not?

Adam knowingly sinned and plunged himself and all of his future family line into a veritable slave market of sinners. Through one man, sin entered the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned (Rom. 5:12).

Through Adam death spread to all men because all sinned. That’s the big deal! Adam was not alone when he chose to rebel against God’s command and eat the forbidden fruit. We were there! How, you say, is that possible? It is possible the same way that we were in our human parents¬–our DNA was in them. We came from them because we were biologically in them. We were also–all of us–in our original parents, Adam and Eve. Therefore, when they sinned we sinned “in them.”

This is why original sin is called “original sin.” Our sin originated in Adam and passed down to everyone. All who come into this world the natural way are born in sin. When Adam began to father children, his children inherited his corrupt sinful condition. (Genesis 5:3). We are all chips off the old block! Everyone eventually chooses to commit acts of sin in time, but we choose to sin because we are sinners.

Then came that first Christmas morning and the supernatural birth of our Savior! He was born of a virgin. This meant that He bypassed inherited sin from Adam. He could not be contaminated with sin from His mother because God had made provision for that. Amazing! He was born the sinless Son of the living God. He became the only one in this entire universe qualified to die for sin. He was God’s sinless Lamb. Hallelujah! God the Father made Him (Jesus Christ) who knew no sin to become sin for us. What an incredible miracle this is. What a wonderful Savior we have. From the Ponderosa to you, have a wonderful Christ-filled Christmas.