Jesus Is The Fulfillment of God’s Plan
By JIM McDONALD
“But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” Galatians 4:4-5
“With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment–to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.” Ephesians 1:10
Thus, we celebrate Christmas. Jesus is not God’s plan B. It is fulfillment of His will. Each of us is a part of His grace and desire for our salvation from the sins of mankind through the ages and our part in them. He fabricated us and everything in the environment that enables us to function and grow in all ways. He so wants us to move into eternity with Him as He patiently waits for us to respond to this gift of grace. This choice is not a difficult decision. Although, there are numerous stumbling blocks that we concoct for ourselves. Add to these societal pressures and influences that make us sometimes stumble along and delay our move to acceptance of our Savior’s sacrifice. In this Advent season we would do well to thoroughly prepare for a true celebration of the birth of Jesus. Our society will not fully reflect the coming of Christ so we should seek Him as our own Savior.
Advent is the arrival or emergence or materialization of a notable person, thing or event. It is the first season of the liturgical year in the Church. Advent is the coming and arrival of Christ into a place in time by God’s will. For us it is a time of anticipation of the forecasted event amply illustrated in the Old Testament of our Savior’s birth. Christmas is the beginning of the Good News.
For those in the circle of Christian faith, Christmas is a momentous time of celebration due to the greatest gift God granted to His people. We’re excited in this time of the year and celebrate it fully in many ways. Due to this most generous sacrificial gift we are even more generous in giving to others. We give gifts to others because of the example of God’s gift and the wise men’s giving to Jesus. We compose music and songs commemorating the Christmas event. Trees, tinsel and ornaments are brought into our houses. The element of joy permeates our lives. This is indeed a wonderful time for us.
A cautionary note: The danger in these flashy good times is that we may tend to let the root meaning of Christmas become somewhat obscured.
In order to guard against this we would do well to remember the pinnacle of Christ’s mission which is our salvation. Following Jesus’ birth, His time on earth of leading and teaching and Good Friday and Easter fulfilled God’s purpose and believer’s salvation was ensured because of his birth, life, crucifixion and resurrection. This is the larger picture. When we fully grasp this, we can truly celebrate Christmas. Let’s do this and go tell it on the mountain. Joy to you and those to whom you are a blessing.
Jim McDonald is a member of Wylie United Methodist Church and the Abilene Association of Congregations.