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CHRISTMAS MESSAGE - 2012 Print E-mail
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Written by Dr. Oliver Ottley, District Superintendent   
Thursday, 20 December 2012 00:00

Dr.Dr. Oliver Ottley, District Superintendent
Emeritus, Church of the Nazarene


Matthew 1:21-23 (KJV)
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

“WHAT CHILD IS THIS?”
 The genealogy and birth of Jesus are recorded in both Matthew and Luke. Luke’s record begins with Jesus when He was about thirty years of age and goes backwards to Adam and to God. Conversely, Matthew begins with Abraham and ends with the birth of Jesus. The purpose of both writers is to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but each is inspired to present it from a different approach.

Furthermore, Matthew’s account of the Nativity is clearly prophetic, and deeply theological.

“GOD WITH US”
 Some Bible religions choose to interpret the fulfillment of this prophecy in terms of natural, human understanding. Accordingly, they reject the benediction of “God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.” (cf. 1 John 5:7). True, it transcends human comprehension, but it is sound, biblical theology. Interestingly, the term, God, is revealed as both quality and individuality; essentiality and personality (cf. John 1:1).

 John the Baptist said that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. On the day of Pentecost there were 120 disciples waiting. “And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit “(Acts 2: 3-4a). When Jesus spoke of the coming of the Holy Spirit He used the personal pronoun, “He.” or “Him” according to the case. (cf. John 14:26 and more)

 The Bible abounds in the use of the visible to illustrate the invisible. The Sun provides a beautiful analogy to illustrate the triune godhead. At some 93 million miles away from the Earth, our Sun radiates both light and heat to this planet. No analogy, nor illustration, nor parable can fully describe the infinity and supremacy of the Almighty! But Jesus was the Master of them all. He called attention to Himself as the ultimate visible revelation of the invisible God. During His earthly life and ministry, He made these two astounding declarations: “I am the light of the world.” (cf. John 8:12) “He that has seen me has seen the Father.” (cf. John 14:9)

Children in school are taught a few basic things about the Earth in relation to the Sun and the Moon. An interesting topic is the observation and explanation of a total eclipse when the Moon passes directly between the Earth and the Sun. Because it is dangerous to look directly at an eclipse, special protection for the eyes may be used. The more common method for viewing is by reflection formed by the Sun’s light coming through a “pinhole” aperture unto a white surface reflecting a circular spot of light. The process of the eclipse is seen to gradually and totally cover the spot of light. That circular spot of reflected light is an image of the Sun. Look at the reflection of a sunbeam coming through a small, round hole in the wall or roof. Catch it in your hand and look at it. You are holding in the palm of your hand the image of that Sun which is a million times the size in volume of the Earth “What Child Is This?” Imagine looking at the Babe in Bethlehem’s manger and remember the words of Jesus: “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” Think of the Virgin Mother holding “God with us” in her arms, and the old gospel song which says, “He’s got the whole world in His hand.” This may seem ironic, but it speaks of the God who encompasses all human knowledge, from the telescopic to the microscopic, and transcends every human thought and concept, Poetry is beautiful -- and meaningful. The lines below are some of mine which I shared at a few Christmases. We sing the same Christmas carols every year; they are beautiful and meaningful. No apology, therefore, for often repeating one of my favorite poems for the Season. Here it is again:

VEILED IN FRAIL HUMANITY

Veiled in frail humanity,
The Christ of Christmas came
To save us for eternity,
And Jesus was His name.

Angels came to celebrate
With tidings of great joy,
For unto us was born that date
The incarnate Christ-A Baby Boy!

If angels who need not redemption,
For joy could shout and sing,
We should join in celebration
Of our salvation He came to bring!

All things by Him created,
Christ the eternal Word;
Messiah long awaited,
Made flesh, our blessed Lord.

To think a lowly manger,
From which the cattle fed,
Cradled the Creator,
And made a royal bed.

A crowded town of Bethlehem,
No room was in the inn,
But in that sacred trough lay then
A Saviour from all sin.
        - Oliver Ottley.                         
 
“What Child Is This?”
The Son of David; the Son of Mary; the Son of God!
Very Man! Very God!
On behalf of the Church of the Nazarene in Belize,
A BLESSED CHRISTMAS!
All the best of God’s Blessings for the New Year.