14 Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion;
shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
15 The Lord has taken away the judgments against you;
he has cleared away your enemies.
The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
you shall never again fear evil.
16 On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
“Fear not, O Zion;
let not your hands grow weak.
17 The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
18 I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival,
so that you will no longer suffer reproach.
19 Behold, at that time I will deal
with all your oppressors.
And I will save the lame
and gather the outcast,
and I will change their shame into praise
and renown in all the earth.
20 At that time I will bring you in,
at the time when I gather you together;
for I will make you renowned and praised
among all the peoples of the earth,
when I restore your fortunes
before your eyes,” says the Lord.
We have had more company than ever before in the last month. And we have really enjoyed the company who came and the people who are going to be here in the planned upcoming visits.
Can you just IMAGINE the Joy Mary had after she gave birth in a stable?
We have no idea who accompanied Mary the 70 miles to visit the pregnant Elizabeth and Zechariah. One fact will never escape notice - her family is Not recorded beyond the knowledge of the Sadducean Council discussing Jesus and Mary and her family. Line of David through his son Nathan and not the kings. Her father was Heli. Luke 3.
For the first few weeks - after the Annunciation - it would appear - Mary stood very alone. Doing the Will of God our Father. Mary continued to be the handmaiden of the Lord.
Isaiah 7 tells us Israel / Judea would be farmers and producers of livestock when Jesus arrived. And surely - the first to be told of God's Good Pleasure - were the Shepherds.
Mary was given Great Joy to ponder as God sent more News of His Favor.
John calls God the God of Love. We should always recognize, like the Shepherds, God's good provision.
And all of these people did provide support to Jesus - Mary, Joseph - yet we must recognize what God gave all of these people - as they gathered - pleasing Father God was this:
Seeking God first
And none of these people was the Savior except Jesus.
Father God had given Amazing Greetings, Blessings and Announcements for those who for millenniums had hungered and thirsted for righteousness. Blessed where the eyes to behold the salvation of Jesus Christ, Son of God.
God was making the Word of God Manifest.
The Will of God
Glory, Glory as of the only Son from the Father
Full of Grace and Truth
Even as just a tiny, infant Jesus is giving to these fully grown adults - for from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
Teaching these Adults - to rely upon Jesus. Fellowship from mankind is a reflection of the Light. A joy.
In Jesus Christ we find - All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Father God has provided for them. And yet the Joy of the Lord is their Strength. God placed two small individuals upon the 69 kilometer journey to Bethlehem. They were simply following what those in power told them to do. The powerful were taking a census - for their glorification in taxation, in sheer numbers, in being able to conscribe into the armed forces. And as 'the powerful' did power - the Will of God was truly being accomplished yesterday, today and tomorrow.
By individuals trusting in Jesus, Abba and the Holy Spirit. And the Light came into the World. Bringing the first Christmas into this Christmas. Teaching us where we will rely and draw upon strength.
1 John 4:4
He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
'Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."
The First Christmas story tells us about lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, heartless, unappeasable.
And a Journey that looked a lot like drudgery. Work a day. Difficulty.
And we find in faith, what was found:
The signs of a true apostle were performed with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works. Prophesy and visions, and the dreaming of dreams. And what shall come to pass? And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the Name of the Lord, Jesus, shall be saved.’
And in the midst of the small Christ Child - the Kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power. Our faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. In power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.
In in acts of love for God, we will be ready when Jesus calls upon us.
We will lift High to God, our loved ones. The People God has given us. Finding the sufficiency and Joy of God in Each Day. Looking forward to the future with the Joy of God. Knowing in Jesus Christ the Lord, - we all Will finish well trusting in Jesus Christ. Asking the Body of Christ to pray for goodness of God revealed on earth as in Heaven.
A blessed Advent - Preparing for Jesus. Amen.
♔ Lord Jesus Saves! †