Merry Christmas, everyone! We are enjoying a snowy family time in Colorado, and reflecting on the many ways that God has blessed us over the past year. However, Christmas is also the time to give thanks for the gift of Jesus Christ, not just in our own time, but also His work over the last 2000 years. This gift is not just to us individually; His sacrifice has blessed the entire world. Of course, the redemptive power of the Gospel does save us as individuals, working directly in our hearts, but it is also a transforming power in all tribes, tongues, and nations.
Heidi and I made this map last year to show spread of the Gospel, as a tool to help us all see the constant increase of Christ’s influence and government on this earth, starting in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth. We hope that it is an encouragement to you, and a reminder to worship and glorify Jesus Christ. We praise Him for the work that He has done on earth through His saints, even as we thank Him for the work that He has done in our own hearts through the Spirit.
We often fall into the trap of focusing on a single attribute of Christ at a time, sometimes forgetting that He is fully God and fully man at the same time. This Christmas, let us remember that the Son of God, by whom all things were created, humbled Himself to became a man like us, even to the point of being born a helpless baby in a stable. In no way does His Sovereign Majesty detract from the humility of His approachable human nature, or vice versa. In the same way, the sacrificial purpose of the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world only adds glory to His rule as our King, to whom all authority has been given.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
– Isaiah 9:6-7