Christmas Day

Luke 1:1-25

The Plan of Redemption Goes into Effect

Christmas day has finally arrived and with it the Christmas season.  Contrary to our worldly and commercial habit, you actually have twelve days to celebrate this blessed season (according to ancient Church custom) which should now be a joyous occasion as you have prepared for it all of Advent.  Having followed the prophet Isaiah through the Advent season, we shall now treat the Gospel accounts of our Lord’s birth and early life.

To begin Luke would have us know that he has “followed all things closely or some time past” and shall now “write an orderly account.”  He is doing the work of an historian, sifting details and ordering the facts.  Christianity is an historical faith because God is not some distant deity but One who is ever active in the world which He created and fulfilling His purposes in and for it. 

And we see here that His plan of redemption begins with a man named Zechariah, a priest, and wife Elizabeth, both advanced in years (i.e., beyond child-bearing years).  When Zechariah is chosen by lot to burn incense in the temple (a once-in-a-lifetime event for an ordinary priest) the angel, Gabriel, is sent from God to tell him that his “prayer has been heard.”  Now certainly Zechariah was not before the altar praying for a son at that particular moment; such would have been an abuse of his office.  He was probably praying for the redemption of Israel or the coming of the Messiah.  But his prayers for Israel and his lifelong prayers for a son had coalesced before the throne of God in the person of the child to be conceived in the womb of Elizabeth.  And oh what a child: He would be great before the Lord, he would not be given to life’s pleasures, he would be filled with the Holy Spirit FROM THE WOMB, to turn the hearts of fathers to their children (please, God!) and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just.  Yes, Zechariah faltered at this pronouncement and paid the penalty for nine months, that is, if neither hearing nor speaking for that amount of time can be deemed a punishment—many of us could benefit from that.  But when God was looking for a father for the Forerunner, he didn’t send the angel to my door.  Zechariah and Elizabeth “were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord.”  Amazing blessings come to those who live such lives.

And this particular blessing was being a part of God’s redemptive plan.  We may become part of that plan when we repent and believe and walk as Zechariah and Elizabeth walked—righteous and blameless before the Lord.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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