Christmas Story

Part 1

THE RESCUER IS PROMISED

For many, Christmas is so hopeful because life can be so hopeless. It wasn’t supposed to be like this, though. In the beginning God made everything very good. Then our ancestors ruined it all. Yet God didn’t given up on us! From the very beginning he’s been on mission to rescue us. God promised a Child-King who would establish his kingdom realm, bring light to the darkness, establish justice on earth, and suffer to heal us all. Thankfully God made good on his promise!

A Child Is Promised

GENESIS 3:14–15
The Lord God aforesaid to the serpent … “I can cause a dire hostility to exist between you and also the girl, and between your children and her children. And he will render a crushing blow to your head even though you will strike her children’s heel.”

King of the World

PSALM 96
Go ahead—sing your new song to the Lord!
Let everyone in every language
sing him a new song.
Don’t stop! Keep on singing!
Make his name famous!
Tell everyone every day how wonderful he is!
Give them nice|the nice} news of our great Savior.
Take the message of his glory and miracles to each nation.
Tell them regarding all the wonderful things he has done.
For the Lord’s greatness is on the far side description and he deserves all the praise
that comes to him.
He is our King-God and it’s right to be in holy awe of him.
Other gods are absolutely worthless.
For the Lord God is Creator God
who spread the splendor of the skies!
Breathtaking brilliance and impressive magnificence radiate from his shining presence.
His gorgeous beauty overwhelms all World Health Organization precede him!
Surrender to the Lord Yahweh all you nations and peoples.
Surrender to him all your pride and strength.
Confess that Jehovah alone deserves all the glory and honor!
Bring Associate in Nursing giving and are available celebrate in his courts.
Come worship the Lord God wearing
the splendor of holiness.
Let everyone wait in wonder as they tremble in awe before him.
Tell the nations plainly that Yahweh rules over all!
He is doing a good job, and nothing will disrupt him,
for he treats everyone fair and square.
Let the skies sing for joy!
Let the earth join in the chorus.
Let oceans thunder and fields echo this rapturous praise
until each swaying tree of each forest joins in, lifting up their songs of joyous praise to him!
For here he comes, the Lord God,
and he’s ready to judge the world.
He can do what’s right and may be trustworthy to continuously do what’s fair!

Messiah, King, and Priest

PSALM 110:1–4
Jehovah-God aforesaid to my Lord, the Messiah: “Sit with Maine as Enthroned Ruler
while I subdue your every enemy.
They will bow low before you
as I create them a ottoman for your feet!”
Messiah, i do know God himself can establish your kingdom
as you reign in Zion-glory.
For he says to you: “Rule within the inside of your enemies!”
Your folks are going to be your love offerings like living sacrifices spilled out before you!
In the day of your mighty power
you will be exalted,
and in the brightness of your holy ones you will shine as an army arising
from the dawning rays of a new day,
anointed with the dew of your youth!
Jehovah-God has taken a solemn oath
and will ne’er crawfish from it, saying: “You are a priest for eternity, my King of righteousness!”

A Virgin Will Conceive

ISAIAH 7:10–14
The Lord spoke through Isaiah again and said to King Ahaz: “Go ahead—ask for a sign from the Lord your God! Make your request beyond the realm of possibility! Ask for something miraculous!”
But Ahaz replied, “I don’t want to ask or to challenge the Lord to a test.”
So Isaiah said to him, “Listen, O house of David: Is it not enough that you try my patience? Must you furthermore may strive the patience of my God? Therefore, the Sovereign Lord himself will choose the sign he gives you—a virgin will carry a child and will give birth to a son! And you will name him, God-With-Us!”

The Darkness Turns to Light

ISAIAH 9:2–7
I will dispel all gloom for those who are fearful of judgment! Although the Lord once greatly humbled the region of Zebulon and Naphtali, he will one day bestow upon them great honor—from the Mediterranean eastward to the other side of the Jordan, and throughout the Galilee of the Gentiles.
For the those that walked darkly can see a beamy light-weight shining upon them—illuminating even the darkest places. They once lived in the shadows of death, but now a brilliant light is shining on them.
Lord you have given them overflowing joy and made them happy! They are ecstatic over what you have done, rejoicing as those who bring in a great harvest and like those who divide up the plunder they have captured.
For God will break the chains that bind his people and lifted off the bar across their shoulders and the rod the oppressor used on them. You have shattered all their bondage, just like you did when Midian’s armies were defeated!
Every boot of troops on the march, every uniform caked in blood is destined to be burned as fuel for the fire.
A child has been born for us! A son has been given to us! The responsibility of total dominion rests on his shoulders. And he are going to be known as: The terrific One! The Marvelous Counselor! The Mighty God! The Father of Eternity! And The Prince of Peace!
His kingdom authority are going to be nice and he can bring immeasurable prosperity! He can rule on David’s throne and establish David’s kingdom from this point forward and for evermore. He will continue to strengthen it by promoting righteousness and justice! The Lord’s great passion for his people will insure that it is finished.

The Branch from Jesse

ISAIAH 11:1–5

A branch will spring forth from Jesse’s cut off stump and a shoot will sprout from his roots. The Spirit of Yahweh will be placed upon him—the Spirit of Skillful Wisdom and the Spirit of Profound Understanding, the Spirit of Wise Counsel and the Spirit of Mighty Power, the Spirit of Revelation and the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord. And he will take all his delight in living in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge merely by how things appear or make his decisions on the basis of hearsay. He will uphold justice for the poor and defend the lowly of the earth. His words will be like a scepter that strikes the earth and with his breath he will slay the wicked. Justice will be his waistband and faithfulness his belt.

The Promise-Keeping Lord

ISAIAH 30:18

The Lord is still waiting for you to come home to him so he can show you his amazing love. And like he promised, he will conquer you to bless you. For the Lord is always faithful to his promises. Those who entwine their hearts with him, waiting for him to help them will be overwhelmed with bliss!

The Servant of the Lord

ISAIAH 42:1–7

See, this is my servant whom I strengthen and take hold of. He is my chosen one, for in him I find all my delight. I have placed my Spirit on him; he will decree justice to spring up for the nations. He will be gentle and will not be found yelling at others in public. He would never crush a broken heart, or extinguish a flickering flame, but he will faithfully make just decrees. His inner being will never be broken, nor his light grow dim before he establishes justice on the earth. And even the distant lands beyond the seas will hunger for his instruction.

The Suffering Servant

ISAIAH 52:13–53:12

Look! My servant will prosper and succeed! He will be highly honored, raised up high, and greatly exalted! Just as many were appalled at the sight of him, for he was disfigured and marred, and no longer looked like a man, so now he will astonish and sprinkle many peoples. Kings will be shocked and speechless before him. For what was never told them they now see, and things unheard of now fill their thoughts.

Who could have ever believed what we just heard? And to whom has Yahweh’s mighty power been revealed?

He sprouted up like a tender sapling before the Lord, rooted in parched soil. He possessed no distinguishing beauty or outward majesty to catch our attention—nothing special in his appearance to make us follow after him.

He was despised and rejected by others; a man who experienced sorrows and was no stranger to suffering. We turned our faces away from him in disgust and considered him not worthy of respect.

Yet he was the one who carried our diseases and endured the torment of our sufferings. We viewed him as one who was being punished for something he had done, struck down by God and brought low.

But it was because of our rebellious deeds that he was pierced and because of our sins that he was crushed. He endured the punishment that made us well and his bruises have brought us healing.

Like wandering sheep we have all gone astray. Each of us have left God’s paths and chosen our own. And the Lord has laid the guilt of all our sins upon him.

He was treated harshly, still he humbly submitted; refusing to defend himself. He was led like a lamb to be slaughtered. Like a silent sheep before his shearers, he didn’t even open his mouth.

It was after an unjust trial that he was led away and no one seemed to care. He was cut down in the prime of life; because of the rebellion of his own people he was struck down.

They were going to bury him with criminals, but instead, he ended up in a rich man’s tomb because he had done no violence, nor spoken falsely.

Yet it was the will of God to crush him with pain. But once restitution was made, he will be restored to favor and gaze upon his many offspring, prolonging his days. And the Lord’s perfect plan will be fully accomplished through him.

After his painful life he will see light and be satisfied. By knowing him, my servant will pronounce over many: “Innocent,” for he carried away their sins.

So I will assign him a portion among a great and powerful multitude and with mighty ones he will divide the spoils of victory—all because he poured out his life-blood to death. He was counted as just one of the rebels, yet he carried sin’s burden for many and interceded on behalf of the rebels.

The Righteous Branch

JEREMIAH 23:5–6

Listen! I, the Lord, promise you that a time is coming when I will raise up a righteous Branch who will sprout from David’s lineage. And he will rule as King, and his reign will prosper with wisdom and understanding. He will succeed in bringing justice and righteousness to all. Under his rule Judah and Israel will be kept safe and secure. And he will be known by this name: The LORD, Our Righteousness!

The Coming of Zion’s King

ZECHARIAH 9:9–10

Daughter of Zion, let your joy be great! Daughter of Jerusalem, shout your praises! For here comes your King! Look! He is fully qualified to save you and bring you victory! Yet he comes to you humbly, riding on the back of a donkey—sitting on a young donkey, a young foal of a female donkey…Then he will proclaim peace to the nations and his dominion will be from sea to sea—from the Great River to the ends of the earth!

Angelic Prophecy of Jesus’ Birth

LUKE 1:26–38

During the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, the angel Gabriel was sent from God’s presence to an unmarried girl named Miriam, living in Nazareth, a village in Galilee. She was engaged to a man named Joseph, a true descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Grace to you, young woman, for the Lord is with you and so you are anointed with great favor.”

Miriam was shocked over the words of the angel and bewildered over what this may mean for her. But the angel reassured her, saying, “Do not yield to your fear, Miriam, for the Lord has found delight in you and has chosen to surprise you with a wonderful gift. You will become pregnant with a baby boy, and you are to name him Jesus. He will be supreme and will be known as the Son of the Highest. And the Lord God will enthrone him as King on his ancestor David’s throne. He will reign as King of Israel forever, and his reign will have no limit.”

Miriam said, “But how could this happen? I am still a virgin!”

Gabriel answered, “The Spirit of Holiness will fall upon you and the almighty God will spread his shadow of power over you in a cloud of glory! This is why the child born to you will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your aged aunt, Elizabeth, has also became pregnant with a son. The ‘barren one’ is now in her sixth month. Not one promise from God is empty of power, for with God there is no such thing as impossibility!”

Then Miriam responded, saying, “This is amazing! I will be a mother for the Lord! As his servant, I accept whatever he has for me. May everything you have told me come to pass.” And the angel left her.

Elizabeth’s Prophecy to Miriam

LUKE 1:39–56

Afterward, Miriam arose and hurried off to the hill country of Judea, to the village where Zechariah and Elizabeth lived. Arriving at their home, Miriam entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. At the moment she heard Miriam’s voice, the baby within Elizabeth’s womb jumped and kicked. And suddenly, Elizabeth was filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit! With a loud voice she prophesied with power:

Miriam! You are a woman given

the highest favor

and privilege above all others.

For your child is destined to bring God great delight.

How did I deserve such a remarkable honor to have the mother of my Lord come and visit me?

The moment you came in the door and

greeted me,

my baby danced inside me with ecstatic joy!

Great favor is upon you, for you have believed every word spoken to you from the Lord.

Miriam’s Prophetic Song

And Miriam sang this song:

My soul is ecstatic, overflowing with praises to God!

My spirit bursts with joy over my life-giving God!

For he set his tender gaze upon me,

his lowly servant girl.

And from here on, everyone will know that I have been favored and blessed.

The Mighty One has worked a mighty

miracle for me;

holy is his name!

Mercy kisses all his godly lovers,

from one generation to the next.

Mighty power flows from him

to scatter all those who walk in pride.

Powerful princes he tears from their thrones and he lifts up the lowly to take their place.

Those who hunger for him will always be filled, but the smug and self-satisfied he will send away empty.

Because he can never forget to show mercy, he has helped his chosen servant, Israel, keeping his promises to Abraham

And Miriam sang this song:

My soul is ecstatic, overflowing with praises to God!

My spirit bursts with joy over my life-giving God!

For he set his tender gaze upon me,

his lowly servant girl.

And from here on, everyone will know that I have been favored and blessed.

The Mighty One has worked a mighty

miracle for me;

holy is his name!

Mercy kisses all his godly lovers,

from one generation to the next.

Mighty power flows from him

to scatter all those who walk in pride.

Powerful princes he tears from their thrones and he lifts up the lowly to take their place.

Those who hunger for him will always be filled, but the smug and self-satisfied he will send away empty.

Because he can never forget to show mercy, he has helped his chosen servant, Israel, keeping his promises to Abraham

and to his descendants forever.

Before going home, Miriam stayed with Elizabeth for about three months.

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