By David Stahl

This year in what many Christians called the “Christmas” season (word and principle not found in the KJV of the Bible) the LORD really opened up the old story from Jesus’ birth found in the second Chapter of Luke.  I can hear that old hymn of the church, “tell me the story of Jesus write on my heart every word, tell me the story most precious sweetest I ever have heard.”  Oh I have read it 1,000 times before, but this year it really seemed to come alive to me, it became a new old story. Now Karen and I do not celebrate “Christmas” (trees, lights, and all of the trimmings) nor do we do presents after all it was not my birthday.  How selfish and self-centered to think I should get a present on the 25th of December (the day Christians world-wide collectively agree on to celebrate Jesus’ birthday) because Jesus got some, but we do celebrate the birth of Christ in our heart and on our lips, yet this year it was quite different.  I pondered wondering why this year the story of Jesus’ birth was different than in the past then it dawned on me, we (Karen and I) were not looking for Santa Claus and all of the trappings that come with him we were looking at Jesus and all of the life that comes with Him.  The writer to the Hebrews shares these words with us,   Looking unto Jesusthe author and finisher of ourfaith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  (Hebrews 12:2).  I am convinced because Karen and I were more concerned about seeing Jesus (and not caught up in the Yule Tide season) our vision, our perspective of life, reality, what is really true and important became crystal clear to our understanding which always brings greater revelation to our life. There is a not so strange truth that says; we always go after what we are looking at.  If we can see it and we want it then we go after it with all our heart.  Well guess what my friend Jesus is looking for those who are looking for Him.  Jesus is looking at us to see what we are looking at and make no mistake whatsoever we are looking at we will go after. 

         In the story of Jesus’ birth taken from Luke we find these precious words,  “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid 10  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.11  Forunto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12  And this shall bea sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger 13  And suddenly there was with the angela multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:8-14)  These words my friends is the hope that mankind hangs its hat on.  These words are the beginning of  the redemption and salvation  with no end that God has for man as they are preached, “to all people.”  We see this truth also in Matthew in the words of the baby laying in the manager when He became a man, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, evenunto the end of the world.Amen.
” (Matthew 28:19-20)  This year (because we had no real distractions in our lives) the message really hit me — the light came on in a new way. What a truth to comprehend for man; God is no longer angry with man.  Yes Jesus was born in Bethlehem (the city or house of bread) in the City of David, but because of His birth and death God’s anger towards man was satisfied.  It is no wonder the angels were praising God.  This was the good news the Angels were sharing with the Shepherds. The anger from the angry God of the Old Testament has now been satisfied with the birth of Christ and the entire world which groans and travails at times could sing, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will towards men.” Notice the angels were in the heavens where God is, but they were saying“fear not,”your fear of the angry God of Mount Sinai is over and now I bring you from the heavens (no Hebrew word for heaven), “good tidings of great joy.” God is no longer mad and now, “good tidings”and “great joy.” What a powerful message of reconciliation and restoration if we can wrap our heart and thoughts around it.  And notice, “on earth (now the angels were in the heavens) peace, good will towardsmen.”   Now it did not say, peace and good will between men, but it said, “peace, good will towards men” that is to say from God to man.  God was saying the war is over!  Jesus has been born and now, “Glory to God in the highest.”What a deep truth that many need to hear, but it seems they miss it year after year.    

         In 1847 a French Poet named Adolphe Adam composed a poem for a Christmas Night Mass  entitled, “Minuit, Chrétiens”  or what we know today as the most well-known and beloved Christmas Carol  “O Holy Night.” Then in 1855 John Sullivan Dwight created the singing version and tune we so love today, but here is the lliteral English translation from Adam’s poem:


Midnight, Christians, is the solemn hour,

When God as man descended unto us

To erase the stain of original sin

And to end the wrath of His Father.

The entire world thrills with hope

On this night that gives it a Saviour.

People, kneel down, await your deliverance.

Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer,

Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer!

May the ardent light of our Faith

Guide us all to the cradle of the infant,

As in ancient times a brilliant star

Guided the Oriental kings there.

The King of Kings was born in a humble manger;

O mighty ones of today, proud of your greatness,

It is to your pride that God preaches.

Bow your heads before the Redeemer!

Bow your heads before the Redeemer!

The Redeemer has broken every bond:

The Earth is free, and Heaven is open.

He sees a brother where there was only a slave,

Love unites those that iron had chained.

Who will tell Him of our gratitude,

For all of us He is born, He suffers and dies.

People, stand up! Sing of your deliverance,

Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer,

Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer!


I think Adam got it right and knew something Dwight did not.  Now it is important to know there is no “Holy Night” as there is no land in the world that is Holy.  I wonder why we call Israel the Holy Land?  Land and a night can never be Holy, but there is a Holy God (who wants us to be Holy also) who loves man very much  so He sent His most beloved gift to die on a rugged Roman cross to reconcile mankind back to Himself.  What a powerful message do not miss it!  Next year I would recommend not looking for Santa, his reindeer, gifts under the tree, and the Christmas message, but keep your eyes on Jesus and on the story of the ages, now that is a old story that never gets old and is worth sharing.