“Silent night, holy night! Son of God loves pure light. Radiance beams from thy holy face, with the dawn of redeeming grace, Jesus Lord at thy birth.”
Sorry Aquarians, but it is the dawning of the age of redeeming grace, Christ has come. “Redeeming grace” means past dispensations are over. God is governing with grace, “the Law came by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” Merry Christmas!! Mercy and truth are met together! Righteousness and peace have kissed each other!
It was never before known; “… The mystery of Christ, Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit” — “…which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God.” These thoughts are from Ephesians 3.
Catch the freshness, the heart-thrilling glory of this event. “He will save His people from their sins.” Never before revealed, never known before comes “Christ with us,” and then “Christ in us, the hope of glory.”
In Matthew 9 Jesus gave two metaphors: One, don’t put a new patch on an old garment; two, don’t put new wine in old skins. What was He teaching by these? Shrinkage of the new cloth patch would tear away at the old already shrunken garment. The two can’t co-exist in harmony. The pressure caused by the fermentation of the new wine would burst the old skins because they had lost their elasticity. Not a good idea.
Jesus was saying, “My teaching is intended to be more than a patch (however good a patch) sewn on to the religion of the day.” The old petrified ways cannot handle the liveliness of the new; stiff and crystallized cannot be fixed but discarded for new garments and wine containers must be made ready. A new heart must be given, a new spirit bestowed. Sense-based or knowledge-honed bottles won’t do, but spiritual discernment.
We cannot mingle law and grace. What happens if we do? The new rips at the old, the latest bursts the previous. Precious set-in-your-ways folks can’t do grace. They have life categorized too well. Secondly, play-it-safe folks fear grace. It’s out of control, they feel, it is a license. Beside that, the need for redemption is misunderstood. We are doing the best we can; no one is perfect, is said.
Well, what is left is a safe mediocre existence. Excitement looms too risky. Having successfully modified the Law into a religion, it all suits people’s comfort zone. It reflects self-protection, which pampers insecurity, which hides itself, but still remains. What is Christmas? Outsiders ask. “I don’t see any big miracles going on in that dude’s life” they observe.
1818, in the Australian Alps, a group of actors did a re-enactment of Christ’s birth, only problem was; there was no organ working in the Church. Josef Mohr wrote “Silent Night” as he looked from a hilltop at the snow-covered village below, reflecting on a former poem he had written about the angelic announcement. It was the “majestic silence,” the “wintry night,” that inspired the carol. Silent Night, Holy Night! All is calm, all is bright.
Yes, in silence, in the cold, did Jesus come and appear to a few. Without fanfare and as a babe, foul odor and hunger were introduced to the God-child. He would experience much more. He would suffer and die at the hands of old-garmenteers fearing a bursting of their wine flaxes.
In a way we were all like that. Purely displayed, Christmas can be a hard grasp because sin has misshapen us. We cling to our measuring rods, analytical gauges, mirrors and test devises. We’re paranoid, ultra safety conscious, protectors of “me.” We can’t see that “me” is the problem. No, don’t take my “me!” “Give me a comparative reading on my meter; don’t make me throw my thermometer away.”
Friends, the final read out has come in digits. What does it mean? Well, our self-estimates were all exaggerated. Sorry, we got the worst reading; sin/hell. But Christmas, O blessed day, holy, silent, calm, redeeming; Good news, God threw away the negative erg-o-meter. Grace has reversed it all, another came to Earth, to save His people from their sins. We got the highest grade possible; Redeeming-Grace cum laude. Love ya