Saturday, December 24
In our reading today, we enter into the book of Psalms. To use an analogy, Psalms is probably like the collection of worship music that your worship team is using at church. They were written to be set to music, have a variety of authors, covers a wide variety of themes and topics, and even have instructions to the “worship leader” as how (tempo, instruments, mood) many of these psalms should be played. You will notice as you read throughout the book of Psalms there are lines, stanzas, and chapters that have found their way into the Christian worship (and even some secular music) of today.
One recurring topic, laced throughout the book of Psalms that fits our reading and the season, is the prophetic telling of a promised Messiah: his jubilant arrival, the long awaited Word of God becoming flesh. The angels, the earth, the heavens, and every man had been created with a longing for this event and had waited its fulfillment (Colossians 1:15-20). Sadly, much of the focus of this season has turned away from the telling of this story, and turned to other ones. In many of the Christmas movies I know, someone asks, “Who wants to hear the story of Christmas?” The family patriarch takes a seat by the fire. Children gather around at his feet. Everyone quietly listens as the story begins. “Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house…” I sigh. This is not the LIFE-ALTERING, SALVATION-BRINGING, PROPHECY-FULFILLING, HISTORY-CHANGING Christmas story I know, BUT there is a rivaling Christmas story that is equal, or even greater than the one we currently know about the humble beginnings of a baby in a manger. This story is made mention of in the Psalm 2:
“I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain. I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:
He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father. Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.” – Psalm 2:6-9
The first advent of Jesus Christ is the fulfilling of prophecy, but it is not complete; there is more to come. There is a second advent of Christ. He will come to earth not quietly in a manger, but as the King empowered by God Almighty. EVERYONE will know of his arrival. To those who know Jesus, it will harken a time of great joy, restoration, and peace; however, the fulfillment is still not complete.
“Therefore, you kings, be wise;be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling. Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” – Psalm 2:10-12
There is no justice in telling part of this. For these wonderful things to occur sin, evil, and death must be destroyed, including those who do not give their lives to the King of Kings. When all this has happened, the story is complete, and a new age and life begin. If there is another story we tell at Christmas, let it be this one; the one that has power to bring everlasting joy, peace, salvation to all men.