The Joy Of Jesus’ Birth

15th December

She (Anna) came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.

Luke 2:38 (Anna the Prophet’s name added)

How did you react the first time you heard that Jesus was born to rescue us from our sins and to give us new life in Him? Joy? Gladness? Or no emotion at all?

In today’s story we learn of the prophet Anna who was daily found in the temple praying and fasting. In fact she never left the temple. She knew that one day a Saviour would come to rescue her people from persecution and to restore Jerusalem (Israel) as a sacred place of worship. As soon as Ana saw Jesus, she began praising God, because she knew that the child with Mary and Joseph was the One who would set her people free. So great was her excitement that she told everyone about it.

When you have been expecting good news and it finally arrives, our reactions are of such joy that we want to tell the whole world about it; so it was with Anna. Our excitement should be the same. We know that a Saviour did come to set people free. He did come to liberate. His liberation was far more powerful than just freedom from political powers but freedom from sin, freedom from the enemies grasp and freedom to be who God created us to be. That Saviour was Jesus Christ, the Son of God. And we are all part of His great plan. That is worth rejoicing about, right?

The Shame Of Nakedness

14th December

At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves. When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hide from the Lord God among the trees.

Genesis 3:7-8

It all went wrong in Genesis… The moment Adam and Eve ate the fruit that God had forbidden them to eat, sin entered the world and immediately they felt shame at their nakedness. Prior to their rebellious act, Adam and Eve had no re-cognition of what nakedness was. Moreover, they were walking in the garden of Eden with God Himself. They were in His very presence because God was with them. Yet after they had sinned, Adam and Eve, shamed by their nakedness, made clothes out of fig leaves and to hide from God presence.

This is what sin does. Sin leads us into shame and guilt and separation from intimacy with God. That shame and guilt, in turn, leads us to want to hide from God or worse still, not to even talk to Him because of our un-worthiness. We make our own ‘fig leaf clothing’ to hide from God. Yet God’s intention was never that. He delighted to walk among His creation and enjoying intimate fellowship with us. And that is why He came!

Jesus came to the earth to break the chains of sin and shame. The shame that separates us from intimacy with God. He came out of the abundance of grace and love He has for us. He came to set us free from the mistakes that was humanity’s fault in the first place. He came to re-unite us into an intimate fellowship between us and God. Now instead of fig-leaves to cover our shame, He clothes us with righteousness and we are adorned with royal robes as sons and daughters of the Most High, bought, redeemed and saved by the precious blood of Jesus…. Jesus came to take away our shame.