This Christmas I am impressed anew that we are seeing biblical prophecy fulfilled before our eyes. Not the kind of prophetic fulfillment about which the sensationalists talk and write best-seller books for the gullible masses — about Middle Eastern conflict and geopolitics and world banks and bar codes at the supermarkets. No, something far more solid and biblical than any of that! God’s word to Isaiah 2,700 years ago has come to pass: “The root of Jesse will come, and the one who rises to rule over the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.”
All you have to do is turn on the radio, or go to a mall. You will discover that throughout the Gentile world, in word and in song, people of all nations are celebrating the birth of the Jewish Messiah, the Light to the Nations, the descendant of Abraham through whom the whole world is blessed! “I make you a covenant mediator for people, and a light to the nations,” God said to Isaiah concerning the Messiah (42:6-7). “Arise! Shine! For your light arrives! The splendor of the LORD shines on you!” (Isa. 60:1) “Nations come to your light, kings to your bright light. Look all around you!” (Isa. 60:3). And so they have come — from the first Christmas, when Magi came from the East, until this very day!
This little e-mail message is traveling at lightning speed around the world — across North, Central and South America, throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, to the British Isles and islands in the Atlantic and Pacific, to the Near East and Far East and the Pacific Rim, to countries predominantly Moslem and Hindu and Shinto and Buddhist and animistic and communist and theoretically Christian. To a world that once sat in great darkness, whose inhabitants worshipped sticks and stones, or the sun and moon, or forces of nature. A world which once did not know the Creator, did not enjoy covenant with him, did not hope in his promises. But today, in every one of these places, people are serving God’s Messiah, the Christ-child, who became a man and died for our sins and rose again, who is coming again one day to establish peace forever!
Have a blessed Christmas, my friends! May his Presence gently hover above the presents, and “may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in him, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 15:13).