I often have a lot of questions, and, honestly, sometimes I don't ask them because it seems like everyone else already has it figured out (and I don't want to look stupid). One of those had to do with Christmas. I always wondered why we celebrated Jesus' birth, because if you think about it, it's his death that actually did something. It wasn't until I started studying Israel's history that I understood why we celebrate Christmas.
Imagine that God made you a promise, and you died before you saw it come to fruition. In fact, your children also died before it came to be, even their children, and their children... So on and so forth until people stopped hearing from God, because the last prophet was dead. Then, add 400 more years (a total of 1,000 years, I think) of silence from God. By now, some people may have lost hope, and to the children, the promise may seem more like folklore.
"For no matter how many promises God has made, they are 'Yes' in Christ." (1 Cor. 1:20)
But God is faithful to his promises, and at just the right time, we begin to see God's promises fulfilled. This poor, tiny, olive-skinned baby, is the promised Messiah, the Anointed One. He brings HOPE to people everywhere, PRAISE THE LORD! Hope for peace, hope for rest, hope for completion, hope for salvation. Our Savior, Christ the Lord, was born. Immanuel, God With Us, gives us HOPE for a new life and relationship with the King of the Universe, the Creator, God. Even though it's not complete yet, we can see the beginning, and so we know that the end is in sight. God's promises to Abraham and to David, of blessings and a righteous King and a House for God, all of these and more, found in Christ. Amen and Amen.
Shema Israel, Adonai eloheinu, Adonai echad.
Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord alone.