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L'Abri Journals...ACGray

December 2002
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What Child Is This?

Chalet LAbri, December 1, 2002

A page from my journal...acg

 "What child is this, who, laid to rest,
On Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?"

This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary."

In his 1978 Christmas sermon, What Child is This?  Ray Stedman tells us the question is answered best in the first four verses of the Epistle to the Hebrews:

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.   (Hebrews 1:1-4, NJKV)

The phrase that most intrigues and sustains me is that Jesus is upholding all things by the word of His power.  Old Testament prophets and the Gospel writers tell us that the Lord Jesus was with God in the Creation.  The Child who lay in Marys lap was Himself the Creator of our vast universe with its teeming millions of galaxies spaced thousands of light years apart.   This Babe in Bethlehems manger controls planets in their paths through space but also manages and directs all other forces and powers physical, social, psychological, and spiritual. Here is Jesus Himself, come forth from the grave, appearing to the disciples by the Sea of Galilee, speaking simply: All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (Matt. 28:18).   Here are scientists with their two-mile long atom smasher at Stanford Universitys Linear Accelerator trying to pry the lid off the secrets of matter discovering worlds within infinitesimal worlds: atoms, neutrons, protons what next?.  They find a complexity never dreamed of and talk of a mystifying cosmic glue that holds things together. Here is Paul writing to the Colossians:  all things are held together by Him.   Here is Ray Stedman:  If you want a name for the force that holds the universe together it is very simple Jesus.  What Child is This?:  The Lord God of the Universe, no less. 

What assurance to ponder again the meaning of Christmas and know viscerally that all this is true:   belief in this Child on Marys lap and belief in Him alone is the key to the very meaning of life.

         How silentlymy world awaits the first snowfalland thoughts of how that most Wondrous Gift of all was given.  Soon another year will have passed into history.  As winter arrives the tall pines fronting the chalet retain their evergreen boughs while oaks, maples, tulip poplars, and redbuds surrounding the place have gone into hibernation.  The pines stand sentinel that my world will be green again with the March and April resurrection.  Until then, I can sing the song of a soul set free of gloom in the face of all the worlds dismal forebodings, knowing this Babe, the Son of Mary, is my Savior, Lover, Companion, and Friend now and everlastingly.  The lyrics of a song learned long ago resonate deep within:  My God is Real, Real in my Soul, My God is Real, for He has washed and made me whole..  

                                    

"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly host praising God and saying:  "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"    (Luke 2:13, NKJV)