He Came….

Baby held in fathers hand


But as he considered these things, behold, 
an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”  All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).  When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a Son. And 
he called His name Jesus. 
Matthew 1:20-25

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14

He became flesh.

He dwelt among us.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made.  In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  John 1:1-5

The Word was God.

In Him is life.

The Light is He.

The true Light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world did not know Him.   John 1:9-10

This Light was coming.

For to us a Child is born,

to us a Son is given;

and the government shall be upon His shoulder,

and His name shall be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6

The Son came and will come again.

And while they were gazing into heaven as He went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, Who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven.”  Acts 1:10-11

Father God, You have seen us and know we are weak and are sinners.  You chose to gift us by Your Son, Your precious Son.  You came as a Babe that we would see flesh, yet have the ability to chose to receive You or reject You.  I chose, late in life, but early enough, to receive You as my God, my Lord and Savior.  I worship You, glorify Jesus, Immanuel, Son, God with us, and desire to listen and obey the Holy Spirit.  All One yet Three.  I cherish these days because I am Yours.  I cherish the moments when we are quiet together and I am in Your arms.  I cherish You, my Father, my Abba Father.  You have given me the most beautiful gift imaginable.  I pray that those of my family who do not know Jesus as their Savor and their Lord will have open eyes and ears this Christmas season to hear and see that the Babe has come.  I so very much want them to be in Heaven with us, Father.  May the stillness at the manger be in their hearts.  May the calm of the night when the shepherds followed the Star call them to Your Son this night.  May the joy of Christ truly ring in their ears.  And may the Prince of Peace come to rule in their hearts for always, for eternity.  In the Name of the Holy One, I pray.  Amen.

 

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photo:  https://jsbandura.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/safe/

Christmas Coming…

Where I've Seen Jesus ... in the Midst ...
Christmas coming Oh! to breathe the air of God as He comes to us as a child, as Immanuel, as the breath of Heaven, as the Way, the Truth, the Life.  

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  John 1:1

The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.  John 1:9

Oh, to be sensitive and anticipating Christmas coming!

Where I've Seen Jesus ... in the Midst ...

Mary heard and knew Christmas coming:

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David.  And the virgin’s name was Mary. …”  Luke 1:26-27

And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”  Luke 1:31-33


And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born
 
will be called holy—the Son of God.”   Luke 1:35

Mary honored Christmas coming:
And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.  Luke 1:38

Joseph became aware of and honored his vows for Christmas coming:

… an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”   Matthew 1:20b-21

When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called His name Jesus.  Matthew 1:24-25

Elizabeth felt Christmas coming:

And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!  Luke 1:41-42

John recognized Christmas coming…from the womb:

…the baby leaped in her womb.  Luke 1:41

Zacharias prophesied Christmas coming: 

“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare His ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to His people
in the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”  Luke 1:76-79

The shepherds saw, heard, and believed Christmas coming:

And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.  And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”  Luke 2:9-12

The angels rejoiced for Christmas coming:

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!”  Luke 2:13

Simeon awaited Christmas coming:

And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.  Luke 2:26

“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen Your Salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to Your people Israel.”  Luke 2:29-32

And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”  Luke 2:34-35

Anna, the prophetess waited, was sensitive to, and then praised Christmas coming:

And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of Him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.  Luke 2:38

The wise men saw Christmas coming:

“For we saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him.”  Matthew 2:2b

Prophets prophesied Christmas coming:

Micah – But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.  Micah 5:2

Ezekiel – And I will set up over them one Shepherd, My servant David, and He shall feed them: He shall feed them and be their Shepherd.  Ezekiel 34:23

HoseaLet us know; let us press on to know the Lord; His going out is sure as the dawn; He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”  Hosea 6:3

Isaiah – Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.  Isaiah 7:14

Thus says the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One, to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nation, the servant of rulers: “Kings shall see and arise; princes, and they shall prostrate themselves; because of the Lord, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”  Isaiah 49:7

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6

Christmas coming:

  • in a manger over 2000 years ago
  • in Salvation
  • in Grace
  • in Truth
  • in the Word
  • in a cloud 
  • in my heart each day
  • in the praises of His people
I see Christmas coming.  Christmas comes in the Christ, directly to my heart as my LORD and Savior.  He comes in the quiet of prayer.  He comes in the darkness as the bright and shining Light.  He comes in love and joy.  He comes as the Word.  He comes in a song.  He comes every day, every moment of every day.  Some I miss.  Yet He comes and waits.  I wait with anticipation and adoration.  I feel Christmas coming from the inside-out.  Truly remarkable moments!

Thank You, Heavenly Father, for blessing us with Your One and Only Son.  Thank You for opening the eyes of my heart to truly see Christmas coming.  May I be sensitive to Christ coming, the Holy Spirit within me forever teaching me, praying for me, loving me.  May we each take the time to ponder the Truth of Christmas.  May we each treasure the beauty of Your gift to us.  The Son of Righteousness has come to us, to me.  He is the absolute expression of Your Love to us.  He is our King.  He is our Shepherd.  He is our LORD.  He is the innocence of the Babe in the manger.  He is Birth in me, Rebirth in me.  He is Forgiveness.  He is Love.  He is Salvation.  I thank You, Father, for Your Son… for Christmas Coming.  Amen and Amen.  Selah…
Where I've Seen Jesus ... in the Midst ...
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Anna Comes

And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.  She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.  She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.  And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of Him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.       Luke 2:36-38

ὥρα

hōra

day, hour, instant, moment, season

“at that very hour”

Anna lived in the temple.  Her life was now devoted to God in prayer and fasting.  Anna ‘just happened’ to arrive at that place where Mary and Joseph had brought Jesus to present Jesus to the Lord.  This was at the time of purification.

Anna arrived at that moment, in that instant, and in that place where Simeon had already come by the Holy Spirit.

Father God, this woman named Anna has come to Jesus and knows Who He is.  Father, she could only know Your Son because Your Holy Spirit had given her the gift of knowledge at that moment.  She was expecting You to send the Messiah to and for her people.  She knew because she believed…she trusted…she spent time with You every day and knew You so beautifully.  Oh, LORD, how most precious is Your servant.    

προσδέχομαι

prosdechomai

to receive to one’s self, to admit, to give access to one’s self

to await (with confidence or patience):—accept, allow, look (wait) for, take

to expect: the fulfillment of promises

The phrase (“all who were waiting”) from other versions:

“them that looked”

“had been waiting expectantly”

“who were looking forward”

“who were looking”

For to us a Child is born,
to us a Son is given;
and the government shall be upon His shoulder,
and His name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6

God foretold of His coming.  Anna believed.

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for Me
One Who is to be ruler in Israel,
Whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days.  Micah 5:2

Anna read God’s Word and believed this Truth, confirming God’s gift of redemption.  Hallelujah!

I know that Jesus came.  I believe.  I read God’s Word now and try to understand the words God has given me.  No matter what my head understanding may be, my heart does understand.  I do look up.  I wait.

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works.  Titus 2:11-14

Father, I wait.  I look up.  I know a little.  I am so filled with gratitude for the Gift of Your Son.  I know Him as my Lord and Savior.  I know Him by Your Word.  I know Him because He is my Shepherd and I am His sheep.  I know His voice.  I look up.  I wait.  Anna knew that many were waiting…waiting for their redemption. 

λύτρωσις

lytrōsis

a ransoming, redemption

deliverance, esp. from the penalty of sin

He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of His people He will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken.  Isaiah 25:8

Anna knew her God and knew His promises.  She awaited His coming.  And once she saw the Christ, she spoke God’s  Truth to all she could.

Father, You have given me another insight through Anna.  I am so blessed to discover Your Truth in Your Word by Your Holy Spirit.  As Anna was bold, may I become bold to spread the Good News to all I encounter.  Your love for us, whether Gentile or Jew, is so powerful and kind.  I pray that Your Gift be received by all…by ALL.  I have received this Gift from You, yet I wait for His second coming.  I wait.  I look nigh.  I expect…for my belief in Jesus is whole.  It is more than enough.  I pray in the Name of Your Son, Jesus.  Amen.

“‘…and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”  Luke 3:6

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Painting–Simeon’s Song of Praise by Aert de Gelder, 1700-1710/Public Domain:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nunc_dimittis#/media/File:Aert_de_Gelder_-_Het_loflied_van_Simeon.jpg

Simeon Waiting

Aert_de_Gelder_-_Het_loflied_van_Simeon

Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.        Luke 2:25

παράκλησις

paraklēsis

consolation

  • a calling near, summons, (esp. for help)

  • importation, supplication, entreaty

  • exhortation, admonition, encouragement

  • consolation, comfort, solace; that which affords comfort or refreshment [thus of the Messianic salvation (so the Rabbis call the Messiah the consoler, the comforter)]

  • persuasive discourse, stirring address [instructive, admonitory, conciliatory, powerful hortatory discourse]

Simeon was waiting for the Consoler, the Messiah.  The Holy Spirit was upon him.

Oh, Father, I praise You for giving this man the testament of Your Holy Spirit.  He knew Your will for his life and waited.  Waited!  He knew the gift that You were giving to this world in Your Son.  He let the Holy Spirit lead him into the temple at that very moment.  He knew.  He waited.  Hallelujah!


And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not
see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.  And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the Law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now You are letting Your servant Greek bondservant
depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation that You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to Your people Israel.” 
Luke 2:26-32

Simeon prayed.  Simeon was so attuned to God that he believed that God was delivering His Messiah as promised to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.  He knew.  He believed.  He had read the Word and knew God’s promises.

Simeon called Jesus “Your salvation.”  He is.

The Lord has bared His holy arm

before the eyes of all the nations,

and all the ends of the earth shall see

the salvation of our God.  Isaiah 52:10

Simeon called Jesus “a light for revelation.”  He is.

He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant
To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel;
I will also make You a light of the nations
So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”  Isaiah 49:6

Simeon said Jesus was “for glory to Your people Israel.”  He is (although not very many have seen Him…yet).

“In the LORD all the offspring of Israel
shall be justified and shall glory.”  Isaiah 45:25

 The sun shall be no more
your light by day,
nor for brightness shall the moon
give you light;
but the LORD will be your everlasting light,
and your God will be your glory.  Isaiah 60:19

Father, I praise You.  You have shown us Simeon in Your Word.  He loved You and spent his days in prayer, seeking Your face.  He came face-to-face with You, by Your Son, Christ Jesus, the Messiah, the Consoler.  He knew that this Child was You.  He knew because He walked with You and fed upon Your Word, upon You.  Oh, LORD, I am so filled with gratitude that You showed me this about Simeon this week.  May I seek Your face each and every day.  May my walk be as You design it, and not in my way.  May light shine upon me from the Sun of Righteousness, revealing Your Truth in and through me.  I thank You, Abba Father, for the most beautiful Gift possible, Your Consolation to me.  You have reminded me that I am to continue to be ‘expectant’ for You to show up in my life at any time, at all times.  In His Name, I pray.  Amen.

 “‘…and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”  Luke 3:6

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Painting–Simeon’s Song of Praise by Aert de Gelder, 1700-1710/Public Domain:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nunc_dimittis#/media/File:Aert_de_Gelder_-_Het_loflied_van_Simeon.jpg