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Perspectives

Rejoice! The King has come!

By Timothy Parker

With Christmas merriment in the air, reflect with me on the story behind the reality – even as it bears, in no small way, on our Country. Years ago, our fledgling country rejected theauthority and rule of the King of England. Our founders set out to create a newsocietal experiment called America. In the process, we rejected a human king becauseof taxation without representation. By rejecting that king, we rejected Great Britain’s rule and control; war wasthe result! Listening to some today who reject what I see as the uncommon sensedisplayed in our Constitutional Republic, one might think we are disconnectedfrom the rule of law and authority. Listen: Despite contrary thoughts, we werebuilt on principles of another King – Jesus. Are you His subject? He’s my King!

Let’s reflect on His story as I hope His reality rings hope in your soul. More than merely rehearse details about the story, I trust you know His Story. As the Shepherds and Wise Men bowed before the baby Jesus, I hope you too bow before Him. We too can praise King Jesus. There’s no better time to do this than Christmas season as we find eternal healing in this Savior/King. Then we can sing, “Joy to the World” in a vivacious way!

The story of Christmas– as celebrated in America – comes from or has historical roots around the world. You may be surprised if you check out the history. We hang socks; give gifts; use wrapping paper, ribbons and bows; eat nuts and fruits; bake cookies and fruitcake; make plum pudding; cook pies and other delicacies; drink egg nog;sing carols; cut and decorate “Christmas” trees; hang mistletoe; celebrate St. Nick; take sleigh rides; learn about Rudolph; put out milk and cookies; send Christmas cards; drink cheer; ring bells; create and perform family traditions;and many other things. I think greater appreciation comes when we know theorigins.

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With the glitz, commercialization, and tradition of this holiday let’s remember the person who is the Reason for the Season. Learning the origins of this God/man helps as the Bible shows Jesus as the reason for the history of humanity, redemption, and Christmas. His “story” is not easy to understand. If we think his story is purely human, think again! If we think His story starts when Gabriel told his message to shepherds near Bethlehem, we’ll be confused about other details. If we think He isn’t Eternal God and truly man,we fail to properly evaluate Him. Many life-answers are contained in knowing Jesus. Remember: No Jesus; Nolife – Know Jesus; Know Life!     

Isaiah prophesied the birth of Jesus 700+ years before it occurred (6:1, 7:14, and 9:6-7). Actually the story begins long before! The “human” part of His story begins in Genesis when God curses the serpent for deceiving Adam and Eve. Did you know Christmas-origins go back to the curse for the first human sin – with spiritual death as the consequence? Jesus came to correct this, as God was the first to declare the Gospel. God curses the serpent in Gen. 3:15, “I will put enmity (ongoing war) between you and the woman (what woman?), and between your offspring and her offspring (who?); he will bruise your head (defeat you and your kingdom), and you will bruise his heel (kill him on the Cross).” Of necessity, God shrouded Gospel-reality until it was unveiled in the Cross! In my notes, can you realize the why of shroudedness – fully unveiled in Jesus’ crucifixion on the Cross?

Between the Gospel announcement and cross is lots of wrapped history. The actualization of God’s Gospel requires the birth of Jesus –voila Christmas! The angel told Joseph ‘Jesus would take away His people’s sins.’How does this occur? When God commands Abraham to sacrifice his “only” son Isaac (Genesis 22), many are deeply confused about this request. Why would God do this? We don’t understand the depth of meaning until the explained-and-unpacked crucifixion. The book of Hebrews helps greatly! God promised a Lamb – He died on the cross as Suffering Servant/King as He corrects sin by applying His Righteousness – giving New Life!  

Before Jesus appeared, we read of Good News in Isaiah 52:7. Gospel means Good News. Some ask, “What good news?” Isaiah 52-55 revealsGospel in shrouded language. The four Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John –reveal the Gospel. The New Testament reveals the Gospel, even as the Old Testament does too! Ultimately, Jesus IS THE GOSPEL! My Christmas wish is that His Gospel will live strong in you.

God’s Truth is clearly seen with backward looking, confirmed by Jesus after His Resurrection, “Beginning with Moses (Law) and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27). Roughly 33 years before the crucifixion, God the Son took on human flesh in baby-form. This Savior/King-in-a-baby is the reality-message of Christmas – as He looked forward to His full unveiling! This was not what anyone anticipated! Almost everyone, His disciples included, weren’t ready for this manifestation. They didn’t understand! Only after His Resurrection did His Apostles learn. Many today don’t understand.    

For many, the birth of Jesus is known as Christmas, but there’s much to learn before we can see the Reality! In an eternal sense, Jesus said we need spiritual resurrection before we can see (John 3:3-8)! Jesus came to create New Life in those who believe Him (John 3:16-21). In the Incarnation, where God the Son took on human flesh, He came to bring Salvation. This “bringing” requires more than mental acceptance of facts; it requires the possession of New Covenant reality (2 Corinthians 5:17) – New Birth to bring Christ-reflection (Genesis 1:26-27).

Read His Story in Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2. God’s Gift was delivered 2,000 years ago but grace must be received (John 1:12-13) and “unwrapped” to come alive in your soul. If you don’t have Spirit-given Life, ask God to “unwrap His Gospel Reality in you.” He’s the Only One who can do this! In Christmas, in or at the foot of His Tree of Life (redemptive cross – without human modification or decoration) we find His greatest Gift – Living Grace in His Son. Unwrap it today to discover that His Christmas brings eternal health and joy in this world. When we have it, we will proclaim His message often! Merry Christmas! Celebrate it every day. If I can help, please send an email.

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Tim Parker pursues being a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ on many fronts. He did jail ministry under Tom
Seppo of Operation Transformation. He helps Arnie Koontz at Blue Water Area Rescue Mission. A priority
is the universal and local church of Christ. He worked 37 years for Chrysler, finishing an apprenticeship
and attending Henry Ford Community College. His bachelor degree is from Spring Arbor University; he
attended Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville for an MDIV, pastored Smiths Creek Bible
Church, and received a Doctorate in Theology from Global School of Theology. With deep appreciation
for Christ’s Grace that manifests in New Birth and subsequent holiness, his 3-in-1 book – Finding God’s
Will in the Redeemed View of Life: Toward a reformed definition of Grace is a more-complete bio than
one finds here. This is Tim’s ninth year as a substitute teacher in St. Clair and Macomb County. As a
precinct delegate in Columbus Township, he keeps his pulse on political issues toward the protection and
advancement of our Constitutional Republic within a healthy Christian Worldview. As a disciple who loves
God’s Revealed, Written, and Canonized Word toward Christ-reflection, he loves to write, teach, and
preach. Tim and his wife, Elizabeth, have a blended family: Tim has four children, Liz has three, and they
have one son together. Eight, two daughters with six sons, makes a full quiver, from age 44 to 16, with 9
grandchildren. My hope is that BWHL articles will encourage learning and ongoing discussion.

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