Tuesday (December 14, 2021)
From morning until evening [Paul] explained the matter to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the law of Moses and from the prophets. (Acts 28:23b)
We tend to think that the Christmas story begins with the angel Gabriel travelling to Nazareth to visit Mary. Or perhaps we turn the page back and begin with the birth of John the Baptist.
The Christmas story really begins with the prophets of old. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zephaniah, Malachi, Micah all had hopes and dreams. They hoped that God would send them a deliverer, to restore the people to health, wholeness, and blessedness. They dreamed of a king who would bring God’s kingdom to earth. And when they wrote their dreams down, when they spoke their hopes out loud for all to hear, whether they knew it or not, they were starting to tell a story.
The story goes like this: A child will be born and he will be called wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, and prince of peace (Isaiah 9:6). This child will come from Bethlehem and will be the one of peace (Micah 5:2,5). And many nations will come to him (Isaiah 2:4). The story that the prophets told was the story of Jesus, hundreds of years before Mary and Joseph made their way to the stable.
We also tend to think that the story ends with the magi returning home by a different road. But the story of Christmas continues. It continues when Paul stands before the religious leaders in Rome in the book of Acts. It continues when we retell the story each and every Christmas Eve. It continues in your heart when you hope and dream for a better world, the same world those prophets hoped and dreamed for so long ago.
Let us pray: Jesus, you speak to us throughout the generations. Tell your story again and again in our hearts. Amen
Peace in Christ,
Pr. Daniel Joyner Miller