Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Pastor's Blog

Unto You 12/25/2011
Merry Christmas to all!

Today is Christmas Day and on a Sunday! Wow! Our day of joy is here again, one that we have been looking forward to all during the Advent time during December. As we revisit the familiar Christmas story which Doctor Luke describes from various vantage points, may our hearts be lifted up in praise and adoration for that which has come to pass in the "fullness of time." May the clouds of darkness be moved away on this day of celebration of the birth of the One who made all things and the One who came in flesh so that He might reconcile all things unto Himself through His life, death and resurrection.

Ever since I can remember it has been a tradition for my family to read Luke's account of the journey to Bethlehem to where Jesus was born. Even though I have gained knowledge of Christ through the years, nevertheless this account stills enthralls my soul in the way that it did when I was a young boy listening to a member of my birth family read it. It is a story that never grows old, for each year it seems as if the Lord is gracious to me in revealing more of His saving grace to me through this particular Word.

For example, this year it was made new to me again how God fulfills His plans just as He said He would and He does it according to His own timetable. Not ours, but His! He moves people to bring about His purposes as if they had strings on them and they were puppets. It was not different in this case, for Caesar Augustus decided have people pay a tax and in order to do it, they would have to travel to their own country. In Joseph case, he traveled to Bethlehem, since he was of the house and lineage of David, taking his engaged to him wife along with him.

As they got to the city that was bustling with other people coming to pay their tax, they had trouble finding a place for the night and ended up sleeping in a barn or a stable like place and that is where Mary gave birth to God. Wow, that is weird, that the God who made all things would be born in such conditions. We wonder how many people were there to see God come to earth?? We wonder how many people were aware of this amazing event??

In verse 8 of Luke 2, we see who God showed this too initially and of how He broke the Good News to the world. We find shepherds doing their jobs as they were out in the field during the night, perhaps sitting around the fire talking and looking at the stars. It was perhaps a night like any other night, but which soon became a night like no other previous night! Suddenly in the darkness of that night, the angel of the Lord came upon them and the glory of the Lord shone around about them! They feared, for they had never seen anything like this before! The Holy light was everywhere!

As they shook in fear and wonderment, the angel spoke to them, "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."


The angels told them that there is nothing to fear, for behold....When the angel said behold the shepherds understood that what was going to be said was mighty important, for that word means "listen up," "this is super important, "do not miss this." The angel went on to bring the good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. And what were these good tiding of great joy? Amazing words now came out of the angel's mouth, which God had sent the angel to say:

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."

"Unto you" Not unto someone else, but unto you and unto me is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord!!! Those words should excite our hearts with joy and gladness anew this morning, in that the Saviour Jesus the Christ is born unto me and unto you!! Martin Luther wrote that there were to two most important words of Christmas: "Unto you!" He understood the signficance of humanity's need to recognize that this God who became as one of us in the flesh came "unto us," "unto you," "unto me." He is a person God who came because He loves us and wanted to restore us unto Himself.

Most of us at the hearing of such marvelous news would perhaps begin to wonder where we can get such blessing from heaven. Perhaps the shepherds wondered about that too, and while they were in their transfixed state, the angel told them that the sign of this happening would be found in a stable a short distance away from them, where a baby had been born and was lying in a stable. They would not find Him by staring into the heavens, but they would find Him in the manger.

After this fabulous proclamation, another amazing thing happened. The angelic choir of the heavens broke through in praise and adoration of its Creator with these words, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Wow! That must have been something to hear those voices perfectly sychronized in their song of praise!

Soon the scene dissipated, the sounds of praise grew quiet and it grew dark again. Perhaps we could relate to the scene in a small in the events of our July 4th celebrations. In the fireworks displays we look forward to the grand finale, a time in which a host of fireworks are exploded simultaneously. The great noise and smoke fill the air, but soon the noise disappears into the distance and the smoke dissipates into the night. Perhaps in a small way we can relate to what the shepherds experienced, but of course they experienced something of much much more significance than a fireworks display.

The shepherds in the dark, "said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. They reocognized that it was God speaking through His messengers. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

They talked it over, decided to go to Bethlehem and they did not drag their feet as they went. There they found Mary and Joseph and the babe lying in a manger. What they saw had such an impact on them that they told others about the saying which was told concerning Jesus. What they told other people caused a lot of thinking and pondering, for the people marveled at such a happening.

Mary, who was anywhere between 12 to 18 years old, had been visited by the angel Gabriel who had told her of her favor before the Lord, had struggled with how to tell her future husband of her pregnancy which was by the Holy Spirit, had given birth just as the angel had told her she would, continued to think on all the things that had been told to her and of her recent experiences. As she mixed all these together, she kept them to herself.

Lastly, the shepherds returned to their fields, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them!

They returned to their regular job, but they returned different men, for as they considered all the things that they heard and seen from God, they glorified and praised their God who had come to them. They had no need to stay there at the manger, but they returned to their place of employment with glad hearts, knowing that the God who they had worshipped for years in shadows and types had now come "unto them!"

Let us this Christmas Day ponder, ie.put together all the things that we have heard and seen during this Advent and Christmas season concerning God's coming "unto us!"


"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."

In the joy of Christmas, I leave you.

Pastor Orval Wirkkala


Posted on 25 Dec 2011 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala


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