Dear OBC Family,
During Christmas we celebrate the Light of the World’s invasion of darkness (John 1:1-11), and the mystery and wonder of the incarnation as Immanuel took on human flesh. This season is rightly filled with joy as we remember the angel’s famous announcement to the shepherds, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people” (Luke 2:10). We look back at the birth of our Lord and Savior, and we celebrate Christmas because sinners are given reconciliation and peace with God through the blood of Christ. We have no greater cause for joy than this!
Christ is our salvation, and this truth is worthy of our celebration and sharing. As Simeon declared with joy in the Temple, Jesus is the salvation that has been “prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel” (Luke 2:31-33). Christmas is a celebration of hope and salvation, a celebration of the Gospel.
We hear this celebration in our Christmas hymns. “Good Christian Men Rejoice” is an ancient Latin hymn from the 1300s that was translated into English by John Mason Neale in the mid-1800s. This classic hymn calls for us to rejoice in our salvation:
“Good Christian men, rejoice with heart, and soul, and voice; now ye need not fear the grave: Peace! Peace! Jesus Christ was born to save!”
As we look back at the first advent, we should rejoice in our salvation, and our celebrations and traditions should be centered on the glorious person and work of Christ. The incarnation defies our logic, and it is a staggering truth that the Son of God, our Omnipotent Creator and King of kings was born as an infant in poverty. It is grace that Jesus humbled Himself from His majesty to accomplish our salvation through His death and resurrection, and this calls for our worship (Philippians 2:5-11). We should be filled with joy as we contemplate God’s grace to us in Jesus. Let us not become distracted this season, but keep our celebration centered on Christ, for as we celebrate Christmas we are truly celebrating the Gospel, and this brings glory to God.
As a congregation, we invite you to come join us for our special Christmas Eve worship services! No childcare is provided, but we invite you to bring your entire family to these special services as we look at the birth of Christ in the Gospel of Luke. Our Family Christmas Eve Service will be held at 6:00pm, and our Traditional Candlelight Service will be held at 11:00pm.
Have a wonderful Christmas as you rejoice in Christ’s salvation!
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