In the wonder of God's grace a virgin brought forth the Christ-child. Our salvation became possible because of what our God did in His grace. Mary brought forth this Child, but she did so because God worked upon her and through her. The praise and thanksgiving must be given to God.
Our God made Mary a devout believer. In Luke 1:38 we read, "And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word." We ought to consider how wonderfully God worked. As hard as it was for Mary's flesh to do what would rule her in the eyes of mankind as an harlot, she bowed before God and believed that this humanly impossible birth of the Savior would take place. She would suffer shame before men, but she would walk in a way pleasing in God's eyes.
Note the statement, "Be it unto me according to thy word." Note also that she called herself God's hand-maid, that is, servant. Although we cannot perform the work which Mary accomplished, we can and must say to our God, "I am Thy servant. Do unto me what pleases Thee. Give me grace and ability to do Thy will in all my walk of life." How much of that did you do today?
Let us therefore also, with a view to the observance of the day when we celebrate Christ's birth, serve God by thanking Him for this gift of His Son. Let us enter Christmas not only seeing it as the day of God's almighty power and infinite wisdom displaying themselves, but also as the day of His love and grace to send His own Son into our flesh to die for us that we may live with Him in everlasting blessedness.
Christ's coming in our flesh opens the way for us to come into sweet communion with God through blotted out sins, and by a new life given us by His Spirit. Christmas must be a thanksgiving day that moves us to daily thanks- giving for salvation as the gift of His grace.
Quote for Reflection:
Any person who would function as a priest in the line of Melchizedek could not assume the priestly office according to the order of Levi, for the simple reason that he was not a Levite. So if Psalm 110 anticipates the appearance of a priest according to the order of Melchizedek, then a whole new legal structure would have to be put into effect. This new law of the new priestly order would presumably make ‘perfection’ possible for the people of God in a way in which it was not possible under the old law and the Levitical priesthood. This change of the priestly order has significant implications for the worship practices of the people of the new covenant. The laws of the Levitical priesthood involved the continual offering of sacrifices in association with specified festivals and holy days. The ritual of these cultic celebrations was not complete without the accompanying sacrifices. But if a new priestly order supersedes the Levitical order, then the framework for the offering of the required sacrifices has come to an end. As a consequence, the festivals and holy days cannot be carried out according to the law of the Levitical priesthood. The entire manner of worship must be changed when the priestly order changes.
~ O. Palmer Robertson (The Israel of God, p. 68).
- Date: 22-December