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Sunday, 24 December 2017

Unto Us a Child Is Born

Lettering by my friend @rach_forsyth

Read: Romans 8: 31-39 

Well, we've made it to the end of our advent journey. And what a joy it's been! Over the past few months as I've thought about Jesus and reflected on His kingship and His kindness, His wisdom and His willingness to become weak, His truth and His tenderness my heart has so often leaped with hope and joy and praise.

But I thought I'd finish the series reflecting on a truth that has probably made the biggest pastoral difference to my Christian walk my whole life long: He is given to us.

All that Jesus is, in His power and mercy and creativity and beauty and boldness and joy and justice is given to us by the Father. They are not just beautiful qualities; they are ours because we have been united to Him.

My favourite verse in the whole Bible is Romans 8:32: "He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all, how will he not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?"

Now this verse is made up of two parts. A question (how will he not give us all things?) and a statement that is so glorious it takes God's Spirit to carry it to our hearts: God gave us Christ.

Unto us a child is born!

As another beautiful verse puts it:

"I am my beloved's and He is mine." (Solomon 6:3)

All that I am is relevant to Jesus.
And all that He is, is relevant to me.

I have been united to Him.

All that we've pondered and rejoiced over because of Jesus during advent we can delight in afresh in the knowledge that this Christ has been given to us.

A child born to us, given to us! And His Name shall be called: Wonderful Counsellor! Almighty God! Everlasting Father! The Prince of Peace!

Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ: not death, nor life, nor angels, not demons, nor things in the present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor depression, nor singleness, nor loneliness, nor unemployment, nor cancer, nor doubt, nor fear, nor relational breakdown nor (incase anyone is unsure Paul spells it out loud and clear for us here) ANYTHING ELSE IN ALL CREATION. No! We are more than conquerors because He loved us!

I am my beloved's and He is mine!

I don't know what you want most this Christmas. I know that often at Christmas our hearts can yearn with longing and nostalgia and hopes and heartbreak. But I also know that the Word made flesh is the greatest act of generosity in the history of mankind; unto us a child is born, unto us a child is given.

God's gift to you is Christ: the Christ who is all those things our hearts have rejoiced in this advent: Christ the King, Christ the Little Lord Jesus, Christ the Song of the Angels, Christ the Manger-Messiah, Christ the Grave-Conqueror, Christ the Hope of the Nations... this Christ is given to us. And to you.

Whatever is not mine this Christmas, there is deep and glorious reason to rejoice in what, or who has been given to me. And nothing in all creation will be able to separate me from His love.

I am my beloved's and He is mine.

Carol: Unto Us a Child is Born (Handel) 
           Unto Us (Hillsong)

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