"Unto us a child is born; unto us a son is given..." (Isaiah 9:6)

The eternal God of the universe has revealed Himself to humankind in three co-equal, co-eternal Persons--Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The second Person of the Trinity, the Word ("logos" in Greek) took upon Himself humanity for the purpose of giving His life as a ransom for the sins of the world (Matthew 20:28). The Word entered the world, as prophesied by Isaiah the prophet, after being miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14). After a natural birth to Mary, the Word's legal father, Joseph, named Him Jesus ("Yeshua" in Hebrew), which means "Jehovah saves." Jesus, the Messiah (meaning "anointed one," the Hebrew equivalent of the Greek term "Christ") was born in Bethlehem as prophesied by Micah the prophet (Micah 5:2) and grew up farther north in the town of Nazareth. Jesus of Nazareth had a three-year public ministry in which He demonstrated that He was the Messiah by performing signs ("miracles"), and by teaching God's true purpose for humanity. He also predicted that He would be killed and would rise from the dead (c.f., Matthew 16:21 ) as evidence that He was who He claimed to be, the only One through whom humans can have access to God the Father (John14:6).

The little baby boy that was born in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago symbolizes the fact that God loves humanity, and sent Jesus to secure eternal life for all who believe in Him. As the angel told the shepherds in Bethlehem, "I bring you good news of great joy...for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." God provided the greatest gift of all by offering us forgiveness of our sins through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. We celebrate God's greatest gift to us by giving gifts to others at Christmas. As we celebrate the birth of Christ, let us be mindful that Christmas is a time of giving, because God has given us so much. Christmas is a time of love, because God first loved us (I John 4:19), and that love became flesh at Bethlehem. Because of God's gift of His Son we sing "Joy to the world, the Lord is come; let earth receive her King."

Have a blessed Christmas in celebration of God's greatest gift.