1 TIMOTHY 1:15-17
15This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 16However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. 17Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
Too often the Christmas season is just all a hustle and a bustle. People are rushing around; shopping, cooking, and traveling. So much so, that the real meaning of Christmas is almost forgotten. Imagine what would happen if all the traffic on the way to the local mall was delayed while a man with his pregnant wife riding on a donkey crossed the road! Everyone would be honking their horns and yelling, “Hurry up! We are trying to get ready for Christmas!”
Our text provides us a meditation on what the arrival of Jesus meant to the Apostle Paul. He never forgot the real meaning: Jesus came into the world to save sinners. That meant a lot to Paul because he thought that he was the biggest sinner of all. He had hunted Christians down and put them in prison. He was, in many respects, the original Grinch. He hated the fact that people believed that Jesus had come as the Messiah and so he was doing everything he could to stop the spread of the Christian faith.
But when he was converted on the road to Damascus, he realized the reason that God sent His Son into the world. That is why, right after he writes about the meaning of Christmas (verse 15) he sings! (verse 17).
—Pastor Laurence Windham, St. Peter Presbyterian Church, Bristol, Virginia
Our Heavenly Father, thank you for this season of celebration. Help us to never forget that the reason this time of the year is so special is because of what Jesus did for us. He came to die for our sins and bring peace between You and us. AMEN.
Phillips Brooks wrote the Christmas hymn, “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” upon returning from a trip to the Holy Land. While there, from the hills of Palestine, he could see the town of Bethlehem and as he reflected on the significance of that small corner of the world at the advent of Jesus, he included these words: “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight…”
As a family, let’s sing, “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” and then we’ll talk about the lyrics.