Merry Christmas to all! Your first Christmas gift today is an inspiring and worshipful reading from St. John Chrysostom, a 4th century preacher known as one of the most powerful preachers in Christian history. Each of today’s questions begins with a direct quote from this text and invites you to ponder – no to explain – the power and the wisdom of God revealed in the birth of God’s Son in a manger in Bethlehem.
- Luke 2:1-20
- Watch for the Light, 225-231
- “He who is above, now for our redemption dwells here below; and he that is lowly is by divine mercy raised up” (225-226). We often speak of the miracle that Jesus came down from heaven to earth at Christmas, but much less is said that by coming he raised the lowly up to dwell with God. How should the news that Christ has come to raise us up to the presence of God sound in the ears of those who hunger to know God and thirst for righteousness?
- “And ask not how: for where God will, the order of nature yields. For he willed, he had the power, he descended, he redeemed; all things move in obedience to God” (226). Have you considered carefully the implications of belonging to a God who created the laws of nature and who has the power to bend those laws at his will? How does understanding God’s power in this way change the way you approach him in prayer and worship?
- “Though I know that a virgin this day gave birth, and I believe that God was begotten before all time, yet the manner of this birth I have learned to venerate in silence, and I accept that this is not to be probed too curiously with wordy speech” (227). Have you learned sit in awe and wonder at the inexplicable works of God he reveals in the Bible, especially the birth and resurrection of Christ? Or do you find yourself seeking a “sensible” explanation to these events to make them more acceptable to your own mind (or your world)? How does allowing yourself to marvel at the powerful mysteries of God build your faith differently than striving to understand and explain every detail of God’s Word?
Today is the day to offer your highest praise to God who loves us and sent his Son to save us. Review this paragraph from page 230 and use it as a guide or an inspiration to praise God this Christmas.
“Truly wondrous is the whole chronicle of the nativity. For this day the ancient slavery is ended, the devil confounded, the demons take to flight, the power of death is broken. For this day paradise is unlocked, the curse is taken away, sin is removed, error is driven out, truth has been brought back, the speech of kindliness diffused and spread on every side – a heavenly way of life has been implanted on the earth, angels communicate with men without fear, and we now behold speech with angels.”