Christmas: The Promise FulfilledDecember 20, 2016
by Rob Globke
“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
Promise. The declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen. From the very beginning God laid it on the table and made a declaration; assuring Eve that one day someone would be coming to crush the head of the serpent. Thousands of years and many many days before that night in Bethlehem, God made a promise. And throughout history, he kept reminding his people about this promise.
Through Abraham, through Moses, through David, and through the prophets, this promise was constantly and consistently reiterated. God kept saying…. “Just wait. One day he will come. He will be the Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor, and Mighty God. Keep your eyes focused on the promise. Remember, and don’t forget.” And, like 99.9% of human beings, time went on and the promise was often forgotten. The people of Israel kept turning away from God and his word. Over the course of thousands of years, I imagine many of God’s people began thinking…. “Can I really trust this guy? Will He really follow through on what he said? Should I still keep waiting?” The hope of the promise slowly fading away with each passing generation.
But then…. it happened.
The angels made the announcement,
“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11)
Hope sprung like a fountain as the shepherds longed to see the King,
“Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:15-16)
The fulfilled promise began to spread as the shepherds couldn’t keep the news to themselves,
“And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child.” (Luke 2:17)
A celebration of joy could not be contained,
“And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.” (Luke 2:20)
God had kept His promise. This is Christmas for those who believe. We look at Christ and we know that God is faithful. He can be trusted to keep his word. He loves us. He came for us and didn’t leave us in our brokenness.
As I think about the many aspects of Christmas, I find overwhelming peace knowing God is sure and steadfast. Life is full of empty promises. We hear all sorts of things in our time on earth. Things like…
- I will get you that contract next year, no problem
- If you buy these skates, you will be faster
- You will start playing more next game
- This year, our team is focusing on having fun, and not winning at all costs
- I will pass the puck to you more next week
- For sure there will be scouts at this tournament
- If your child plays on this team, I will get them a scholarship
While there will be times when these promises bear fruit, there will be other times when the promises of life will leave us wanting. So, we walk through our days not knowing who to trust or where to turn. There are seeds of doubt planted in our guts, and we put up fences in order to guard our heart from breaking. This is life in a sinful, fickle world. It might be easy to start pointing the finger and blaming those around us, but we soon realize that we are part of the problem. We often can’t even trust ourselves.
Where, then, can we turn?
We can turn to God in Christ. We know we can trust Him. He has proved it in the biggest way imaginable. He has sent his only Son into the world. This is Christmas. I hope and pray you have a few moments (or many moments) amid the chaos to ponder the weight of this truth. And in turn, be filled with hope, peace, and joy.
“But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.”