A 12 days of Christmas series celebrating the real reason behind the trees and the tinsel.
day 1 🌲 dec 14⠀

do not be afraid⠀
luke 1:30⠀

when the angel of the Lord visited mary to break the good news of her child to her, he recognised her immediate shock and skepticism as to why she was being approached by an angel, and he urged her not to be afraid. ⠀

from the very beginning, God wanted to give mary peace - not fear. 2 timothy talks about God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of peace and love. and as god entrusted the saviour of humanity in the womb of the young virgin mary, he gave her peace. peace in the midst of a pre-marital pregnancy that was sure to cost mary her reputation. peace in a world that was crying out for it. peace in the form of the holy spirit, and peace in the form of the son of God, whom she had the blessing of calling her son too.⠀
day 2 🌲 dec 15⠀

matthew 1:23⠀

when joseph heard that mary, the woman he was pledged to be married to, was pregnant, he was shocked, which was fair enough considering that as a man faithful to the law, he hadn't yet slept with his wife to be. the fear of the repercussions of this childbirth drove him to consider a quiet divorce. ⠀

but God interceded. in a dream, he encouraged joseph with the same words the angel gave mary - "do not be afraid". the Lord filled joseph with peace about the marriage, and about the child.⠀
the birth of the baby jesus was the fulfilment of the promise spoken through the prophet isaiah, that the virgin mary would give birth to a son, and he would be called "immanuel", which means "God with us".⠀
and joseph did as the Lord asked.⠀

thank you God for interceding into our broken world. that even when we turned our backs to you, you were with us.⠀
day 3 🌲 dec 16⠀

luke 2:14⠀

when Christ was born, an angel appeared to a group of ordinary everyday shepherds in a nearby field. he announced the news of the birth of the Messiah, and was suddenly accompanied by a multitude of the heavenly host, and they worshipped God saying⠀

"glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those whom his favour rests."⠀

gloria. a song of exaltation and praise for the king of kings, who is high above all, yet stooped down to the dirt of a broken world in love and humility, to sacrifice himself so that we may live through him. so that i, an ordinary everyday sinner, could share eternity with him.⠀
gloria. gloria. in excelsis deo.⠀
day 4 🌲 dec 17⠀

the word became flesh⠀
john 1:14⠀

the word existed from the very beginning. through the word, creation came to being, designed perfectly, man and God dwelling together.⠀

and we screwed up his perfect design. ⠀

and yet rather than sit back and watch us destroy ourselves, with only ourselves to blame, the word stepped down from his high throne in heaven, became the flesh he created and entered the world he made, to set an example and to set a new order, or rather, to restore the old order.⠀

the perfect God embraced our imperfect world. he taught us, fought for us and showed us how to love. all because he's just madly in love with us.

day 5 🌲 dec 18⠀

o come let us adore him⠀
luke 2⠀

adore. to love, cherish and maybe even worship. for the shepherds, it was the supernatural visit of the heavenly host that moved them to drop what they were doing, drop their routine, and say "come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord". they recognised the significance of his birth and who he was, and in that moment, nothing else took priority over the opportunity to adore Jesus.⠀

may i never become too familiar with the wonder and the beauty of Christ Jesus. may i never be too busy to take time out if my everyday, my routine, and just adore Jesus for who he is.⠀

not just during Christmas. 

day 6 🌲 dec 19⠀

all hail the divine in a manger⠀
luke 2⠀

"God embraced our frame⠀
when he graced the world he made⠀
all hail the divine in a manger⠀
love embraced our fate⠀
when the playwright took the stage⠀
all hail the arrival of our maker⠀
all hail the arrival of our saviour"⠀
hillsong united - arrival⠀

i just love these lyrics.⠀
speaks for itself really.

day 7 🌲 dec 20⠀

luke 2⠀

born is the king of israel.

day 8 🌲 dec 21⠀

john 3:16⠀

why would a perfect god die for imperfect people. the same people who he blessed with a beautiful world and gave freedom to rule over it in the same way he rules over the universe - in love. the same ungrateful people who rebelled against him and sent his world into chaos. the same selfish people who kill each other, entertain greed, spit in God's face and destroy his perfect design.⠀

the same people who's sin and rebellion rendered them enemies of God, and rightfully condemned to eternity distant from God and all things good. destined instead for eternal torment.⠀
why on earth would God die for a people so hopelessly undeserving?⠀

john 15:3⠀
greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.⠀

its what drove him to descend onto earth and fix our mess himself.⠀
its what moved him to rescue us back from our own destruction, and lay his life down before we were even his friends so that we could be his friends.⠀
that's why the divine God humbly bore the flesh we a bear, endured the daily challenges we all do, and made a transaction none of us could.⠀

thats worth being merry about.

day 9 🌲 dec 22⠀

prince of heaven⠀

"hail the prince of heaven comes⠀
angel choirs sound the call⠀
for this babe wrapped in a cloth is⠀
the incarnate word of God⠀
all the kingdom and its power⠀
resting now in this child⠀
prince of heaven⠀
Jesus, hope of the world"⠀
hillsong united - prince of heaven
day 10 🌲 dec 23⠀

the manger⠀
luke 2⠀

the creator of the universe, in his own genius, did not arrive on earth on a chariot of fire, or in a cloud of smoke, or with trumpets blazing. no, he took on the humility of a child, laying in a manger - an animal feeding trough. and not in some big city, but in the humble town of bethlehem.⠀

its crazy how the bible says there was "no room available" for him in bethlehem. in the entire town of bethlehem! yet isn't it the same with us, that often we fill our hearts and lives with so much stuff, that we leave little room for Jesus. we become too busy, too preoccupied to even think about him, let alone sit and read his word.⠀

even at Christmastime. we can become so caught up in the event and the presents and whatever, that we forget Christ.⠀

or maybe in some cases we just choose not to let him in. we choose not to have room for him.⠀

praise God that even when we don't create room for him, he finds a way to pursue us, too seek us, to chase after us, and to humbly ask us to let him in, knowing full well we need him more than he needs us.⠀

john 15:16⠀
you didn't choose me. i chose you...
day 11 🌲 Christmas eve⠀

the star⠀
matthew 2⠀

the wise men, full of joy and anticipation, were led to the baby Jesus by a star and adorned him with their gifts and their worship.⠀

may the star on your Christmas tree be a reminder of the star in the east.⠀

and as we adorn our loved ones with gifts this Christmas, may we never forget he who deserves our worship not just tomorrow, but every single day.⠀
day 12 🎄 Christmas day⠀

the king⠀

i've personally always had a deep love for Christmas. the sense of joy everywhere, the outrageous decorations, and the spirit of giving (and over-the-top spending).⠀

but this year more than ever i am reminded of the real reason behind all this. when you take away the wrapping and the end of year Christmas parties and the fat dude in a red jumpsuit, and remember the day the king of the universe decided to descend on our broken planet not just to put tape over its cracks, but to make it whole.⠀

i guess the more i think about it, the more it messes with my head that the king had no obligation to come down here, no obligation to go through the daily human struggles that sin creates. no obligation to take my place and bail me out. no obligation to die for me. none.⠀

and the truth is its not like we can pay him back. we have nothing to offer him. not even our own righteous behaviour.⠀

isaiah 64:6⠀
"we are all infected and impure with sin. when we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags..."⠀

and with full knowledge of that, God still chose to redeem us, to buy us back from the darkness, to reclaim his children. not so we could do something for him, not so he could have our works, but so he could have our hearts. its the relationship he was after all along.⠀

and once you have an understanding of how good God is, once you have that relationship and you see God for who he is, all you wana do is serve him. all you wana do is live for him.⠀
after all, he gave you life. not just life on earth, he offers you eternal life in heaven.⠀

john 3:16⠀
"for God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."⠀

thanks for tuning in to my little series, i hope you've been blessed by these reflections. im just a guy who loves God and has a revelation of a God who, out of his own love for me, decided to take on the consequences of my imperfection, and trade me his righteousness at no cost to me. a God who couldn't stand the thought of being separated from me.

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