Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Devotional ~"It was Jesus that rolled the stars on their orbits, to tell forth the glory of God..."

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  This One was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.  In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it….
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
JOHN 1:1-5,14

A Branch so fair has blossomed
From tender parent stem,
Out of the rod of Jesse,
As told by godly men,
And brought a Flow’r so bright,
Well in the midst of winter
And darkness of the night.

This little Rose, so lovely,
That sprang from Jesse’s rod
A lowly virgin brought us,
The favored one of God;
By His decree and might
A holy Child she bare us
One blessed Christmas night.

This little Flow’r, so fragrant,
My heart fills with delight,
For with its shining splendor
It drives away the night.
True man, and yet God’s Son,
Saves us from sin and sorrow,
And when life’s day is done.

15th Century German Carol

He was born of a woman; yet He made woman. He ate and hungered, drank and thirsted; yet He made corn to grow on the mountains, and poured the rivers from His crystal chalices. He needed sleep; yet He slumbers not, and needs not to repair His wasted energy. He wept; yet He created the lachrymal duct. He died; yet He is the ever-living Jehovah, and made the tree of His cross. He inherited all things by death; yet they were His before by inherent fight….
It was the voice of Jesus that said, "Let there be light"; and the new ethereal substance spread like a haze of glory through space. It was the hand of Jesus that made the expanse between cloud and sea, in which the birds fly (Gen. 1:20). It was the bidding of Jesus that drove the turbulent waters from the land into the ocean-bed which He had scooped. It was the thought of Jesus to splinter the mountain peaks; to thrust the frozen glacier down into the valley by inches; to pour forth the rivers; and to shake down over the hills the falling foam of the cataract. It was Jesus that carpeted the earth with flowers, and devised the innumerable sorts of plants, and planted the noble forest-trees. It was Jesus that rolled the stars on their orbits, to tell forth the glory of God, and to keep time on Nature's dial. It was Jesus that made the fish to flash in the deep; the reptile to creep in the brake; the firefly to glance through the forest; the birds to sing in the woods; flocks to browse on the hills; and herds to traverse the prairies.
It was Jesus who created the human nature which, in after years, He was to assume. He made man in the image and after the likeness of what He was Himself to be in the fullness of time. What strange emotions must have filled his heart as He built up that first man from the red earth!
Not a flower
But shows some touch, in freckle, streak, or stain,
Of His unrivalled pencil.

All life--natural and physical, animal and intellectual, spiritual and religious--is in Him. The whole universe of living things was not simply brought into being by Christ; but it is kept in existence and sustained in living beauty by the constant communications of His fullness --as a vale is kept in fertile beauty, luxuriant with vegetation, by the spray of a perennial waterfall. As the Word, He creates; as the Life, He sustains. As the Word, He declares God; as the Life, He communicates His essence. "As the Word, He is God without us; as the Life, He is God within us."
Apart from Christ, you may exist; but you have no life in you. "He that hath not the Son of God, hath not life." You may have many attractive and amiable qualities, much that is correct in behavior, and beautiful in appearance; but you have no life.
But if you are in Christ, opening all your being to Him, door behind door, back into the most sacred chambers of your being, so that He has free and unhindered entrance into your entire nature; then, as the Nile, descending through the channels cut by the Egyptian peasantry, bears life and fertility into their gardens and cornfields, so will He bring His own life, the life of God, "life indeed," into you, and though you were dead, yet shall you live (John 11:25).

The Gospel of John

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