The Saviour Jesus Considered Again.
In a world filled with the clamour for saviours found in transient victories, fleeting relationships, and material pursuits, the timeless message of the angel to the shepherds in Bethlehem at the time of Christ’s birth reverberates with profound relevance. It is an undeniable truth that humanity, in its pursuit of fulfilment and purpose, often looks to the transient and the tangible for salvation.
Our society, echoing the sentiments of Isaiah’s warning Isaiah 55:2, tends to invest hope in ephemeral victories, victories that may bring temporary joy but leave a void once the initial euphoria dissipates. The allure of success in career, sports, or personal achievements can be captivating, yet it fails to offer lasting peace to the yearning soul. It is a reminder of the psalmist’s wisdom in Psalm 20:7, which asserts, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.“
Similarly, the pursuit of salvation through relationships, while a noble endeavour, can become a source of disappointment if placed as the ultimate foundation of our well-being. Human connections, though precious, are inherently imperfect, and subject to change and frailty. The angel’s proclamation at the time of Christ’s birth directs our gaze beyond the temporal nature of human relationships, pointing us to an unwavering source of solace and constancy.
Even in the preoccupation with sports, we show a hope for a saviour. As a sports season ends with far more losers than winners, we hear the cry from cities across the land — “Wait till next year!” Then comes the draft or a new crop of trainees, and the fans pin their hopes and dreams on the new kid who will bring glory to the team. The trainee, the new client, the new machine, the news that will arrive in tomorrow’s mail — all are invested with more hope than any creature or anything can possibly deliver.
Material pursuits, whether in the form of wealth, possessions, or societal acclaim, often promise a form of salvation—deliverance from want and the attainment of comfort. Yet, the transitory nature of material wealth is a theme echoed in the Scriptures Matthew 6:19-21, urging us to seek treasures of eternal significance.
Our predecessors, much like us, grappled with the allure of transient victories. In the pursuit of success, recognition, or triumph, they too faced the fleeting nature of accomplishments. Yet, in their journey, they may have left us a legacy of lessons, echoing the wisdom found in Ecclesiastes 2:11, “Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” Their experiences serve as guideposts, urging us to seek a deeper, enduring source of meaning beyond the ephemeral victories of our time.
In this poignant contrast, the birth of Jesus stands as a beacon of hope—a reminder that true and enduring salvation is found not in the transient victories, relationships, or material pursuits of this world but in the unchanging, eternal love of Christ. As we reflect on this profound truth during the Christmas season, let us recalibrate our hearts and place our trust in the Saviour whose birth we celebrate—a Saviour whose love surpasses the temporal and extends into eternity.
So, what’s the story we are considering together?
Amid this shared human experience, the angelic proclamation over Bethlehem serves as a unifying message. It heralds a Saviour whose birth transcends generational boundaries, — a Saviour whose birth transcends generational material pursuits, – a Saviour born not only for us but for those who came before us and all those who will follow. As we reflect on the Christmas story, let us weave together the threads of our shared pursuit of salvation, acknowledging the wisdom passed down by the generations and inviting all to find lasting fulfilment in the embrace of the eternal Saviour, Jesus Christ.
The story is found in the Biblical records of the Gospels. It tells us that on the night Jesus was born something spectacular took place. The plains of Bethlehem became the theatre for one of the most spectacular sound-and-light shows in human history. All heaven broke loose.
Luke tells us what happened: Luke 2:8-14
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” – “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests.”
The angelic visitor was surrounded by the glory of God. The glory was shining. This glory did not belong to the angel himself. It was God’s glory, signifying His divine presence represented by the Angels. The burst of light that flooded the fields of Bethlehem announced the advent of a Saviour who was able to do the task that none other or anything else could.
We note that the newborn Saviour is also called “Christ the Lord.” To the astonished shepherds, these titles were pregnant with meaning. This Saviour is the Christ, the long-awaited Messiah of Israel. Every Jew remembered the promise of God that someday the Messiah, the Lord’s anointed, would come to deliver Israel. This Messiah-Saviour is also Lord. He not only will save His people but He will be their King, their Sovereign.
The angel declares that this Saviour-Messiah-Lord is born “unto you.” The divine announcement is not an oracle of judgment but the declaration of a gift. The newborn King is born for us.
In conclusion, the story of Jesus’ birth is not merely a historical account; it is an invitation to a transformative journey. This Saviour-Messiah-Lord is born “unto you.” Is our combined opportunity today to discover one in declaring “it is finished” – John 19:30 on the cross upon which He surrendered His life to discover a newness of life, a renewal of hope a regaining of purpose.
The story of Jesus’ birth, and the life He lived challenges us to rise above the fleeting pursuits of our time and find solace in the unwavering love of the Saviour. As we stand at the intersection of tradition and eternity, let us heed the call to action embedded in this narrative. Let’s remember that “today is the day of salvation” – 2 Corinthians 6:2 — let’s remember that “salvation is found in no other” – Acts 4:12 – let’s remember that “there is no other name given under heaven whereby we can be saved” and embrace the true source of lasting joy, peace, and fulfilment found in the eternal love of Christ.
This Christmas, let our hearts be open to the transformative power of this message, and may it inspire a collective awakening to a life anchored in the embrace of the Saviour who transcends time and offers an everlasting hope.