The catalogs started rolling into our house in August, each proclaiming that must have Christmas item. Each suggestion seemed to whisper that I should sneak a gift for myself—after all, I deserve it. But the catalogs that came for my kids were far less subtle. They screamed out all that my kids needed to have a successful Christmas. Unfortunately, even if for just a short time, we believed it. Naturally, I do need a KitchenAid that matches my kitchen aesthetic, and my kids must have the coolest new gadgets if they want to have joy. Before we knew it, our hearts had detoured far from the celebration of Christ’s coming. We know that this season offers a plethora of diversions from rightful worship—we can worship tradition, family, self…the list goes on and on. But the King of kings cannot and will not be denied rightful worship. What a joy it is to instead set aside the distractions as secondary and allow our chief focus to dwell on the majesty of the Messiah.
As I consider the many roadblocks in my own heart as I come to worship, I’m humbled and grateful for Scripture revealing that this is nothing new. There have always been many roadblocks to the King’s coming, but nothing can deter the will and work of our God. Isn’t that a rich comfort?
Just look at Luke 1 and 2, the deterrents are blatant and insurmountable by human standards! First, you have a virgin mother-to-be. Physically impossible! Then, a gentle but upright man who won’t go through with his marriage to what he believed to be an adulterous woman—come on, if someone told you they were pregnant by the Holy Spirit, would you believe them? But it gets worse, a tyrannical king hears of the birth of the Savior and goes on a murderous attack against his own people, which prompts Joseph, Mary, and Jesus to flee to Egypt. Roadblocks left and right. If it was up to us, anyone one of these problems would have ended the mission of redemption. And aren’t you glad it wasn’t up to us? Instead, the limitless and sovereign Lord of all was faced with no obstruction to the glories of the gospel.
The book of Isaiah is one I often turn to when considering the majesty and nature of my Lord, for he spoke so beautifully through the prophet to tell the absolute truth of his nature as eternal, sovereign, and limitless. Isaiah 46:11 proclaims, “Yes, I have decreed, yes, I will bring it to pass; I have formulated a plan, yes, I will carry it out.” He gave his word, by Isaiah, as a promise of the judgment that would come against the unrepentant Israelites, but also that his promises for renewal and restoration were not hollow but certain. He would care for them, sustain them, protect them, and be with them as he promised earlier in the chapter (Is. 46:3-4). And many of these promises found fulfillment in the person of Jesus Christ.
Despite all the odds that appeared stacked against him, God’s plans and purposes prevailed. The King of kings has come and he’s begun the work of instating a kingdom that seeks the lost, heals the sick, loves the unlovable, sustains, strengthens, and restores. This is a kingdom worthy of our attention and a King worthy and deserving of all our praise!
I know it’s trite to say, “Jesus is the reason for the season”, but let’s face it, that’s the truth! As all the advertising screams for you to get all your dream clothes, household goods, and gadgets—worshipping the god of more, more, more—consider that only reason we celebrate Christmas is because the Lord God supremely and graciously kept his word. Not one of his promises or plans failed and no detour has halted his progress. Christ has come, and we are assured that He will again. Glory to God in the highest!
-Stephanie Wilcox: Writer for Chasing Sacred
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