December 4, 2020

Pastoral Nuggets: The Start of the End of the Beginning

This Sunday, many will attend church Christmas plays, where children forget their lines, listen as choirs sing off key, and watch as pastors struggle to be relevant while telling the story his congregants know as well as he – the Christmas story.

And all of this will be centered around the image of a Baby in a manger in Bethlehem – as well it should be.

And that Baby reminds us that God has always had a plan.

There has never been one millisecond when mankind was outside of God’s plan.

It totally blows my mind to realize that God’s plan is so perfect that it takes into account all the imperfections, faults, and failures of mankind. Yes, we can be out of God’s will, but never out of His plan!

The Christmas Story actually starts in the Beginning – creation.  After God had created everything, sin entered into the world when the serpent beguiled Eve, and Adam willfully sinned.

When God encountered the serpent He said, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Genesis 3: 15 (KJV) So, God is saying that this creation scene cannot end until the birth of the One Who will destroy satan.

So, the birth of Jesus signifies the start to the end of the beginning! (Creation)

The path that God chose from Eden to The Manger is stranger than science fiction!  You see, satan knows scripture. So, he knows that Jesus’ right to the Throne of David will come through Solomon.

So, he attacks that lineage. Surely, he must have thought he had won when God got angry at Jeconiah, who is in that lineage, and said, “… no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.” (Jeremiah 22:30 KJV) But he missed it!

The prophecy did not say “his” seed; it said “her” seed! The pure bloodline of Jesus does not come through Solomon and culminate with Joseph Mary’s husband. It comes through Mary. You see, Mary is also a descendent of King David. Her lineage comes through David’s son, Nathan. Jesus’ right to the throne: Solomon. The true bloodline: Nathan! Wow!

It would take a Philadelphia Lawyer to document all the ups, downs, twists and turns, God orchestrated through the centuries, to produce that Baby in the Manger on that first Christmas Day!

First, as I have already mentioned, Jeconiah was cursed. Then, God used five women in the lineage. Some of them were of unseemly moral character, some were the victim of their circumstances, and one was the most unlikely of all women.

First there was Tamar. Her story is in Genesis 38. Read it. In short, she was twice a widow. And because her father-in-law Judah failed to do what he promised and was bound to do, she seduced him. Quite a story! Secondly, there was Rahab the Harlot.

In exchange for her safety, she hid the spies in Jericho. Later, she married a man named Salmon. They had a son, Boaz. Thirdly, there was Ruth the Moabitess. She came to Bethlehem with her mother-in-law, Naomi. Boaz was her Kinsmen Redeemer. Together they had a son, Obed.

Then, Obed had a son, Jesse. Then Jesse had a son. You ready for this? David! Fourthly, there is Bathsheba, the Wife of Uriah the Hittite. She was a victim of her circumstances. But from her union with King David, comes Solomon. And then there is the most unlikely of all, Mary. She was most likely a thirteen to fifteen-year-old virgin who was chosen to be the mother of Jesus.

The birth of Jesus was the start of the end of the beginning. Some thirty-two to thirty-three years later, the beginning scene closed, when on the Cross at Calvary, Jesus bowed His head and said, “It is finished!” What was finished? Not Him! But the beginning! And in three short days, early on a Sunday morning, the curtain would be pulled back on act two! Oh, hallelujah!

So, as you visualize the Baby in the Manger this Christmas, let it serve as a reminder to you that God has always had a plan – even for my life and yours!

Merry Christmas!

Brother Aaron

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