FEATURE — For the “From Figures of Faith” series, St. George News reached out to the Interfaith Council of St. George and asked if they had a message about the holiday season they would like to share with our readers.
The following was submitted by Rev. Jimi Kestin of Solomon’s Porch Foursquare, located at 1495 S. Black Ridge Drive, A240, St George.
My Redeemer lives!
When I contemplate what Christmas means to me, I must admit that there are a few feelings I go through. Don’t get me wrong, I love the holiday spirit, the lights, trees, the social gatherings and yes, even Santa Claus. I am not one of “those” Christians who shun the trappings of the season.
While I can get my best Grinch on if you start Christmas before Thanksgiving, I find that the secular festivities of the season add to the opportunities to share my faith about the reason we are celebrating, which is the birth of Jesus.
I even enjoy when the skeptical types like to point out things like Jesus not being born in December and the holiday being set on a Roman secular feast day. Jesus was likely not born in December; it would have been a very unlikely time for the Romans to call a census requiring people to travel to their home cities in the dead of winter.
I enjoy this line of questioning simply because if someone wants to argue about when Jesus was born, we have already established that He was born and now what matters is why He was born. And that is the great Joy of Christmas for me, that my Redeemer lives.
It was the oldest book of the Bible, the Book of Job, about a man who lived more than 2,500 years before Jesus, that has these words attributed to the title character. Job says:
For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, Whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. how my heart yearns within me!
The promise of a Redeemer who would save us from ourselves and from the trials and difficulties that this life brings lived in the hearts of the saints of old who looked forward to that day that the Redeemer would come.
As New Testament Christians, we look back to the manger as the fulfillment of that promise. What makes Christmas and the birth of my Redeemer so special is the extent to which His coming was so repeatedly and accurately spelled out for us in the Old Testament by those who looked forward to that day but did not see it come in their lifetimes.
From the general predictions of where he would be born to his lineage to the much more specific predictions of the timing of his birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection, there are literally hundreds of Old Testament prophesies that were fulfilled in this one birth that changes everything.
There are so many things that inspire me at Christmas time. I love Christmas music, ugly sweaters, seasonal foods and Christmas ties, but what I love most about Christmas and what it means to me is that a guy named Job was right, my Redeemer lives. And I would love to share Him with you, because He was born, lived and yes, died and is the Risen Lord because He longs to be your Redeemer, too.
Merry Christmas from the Solomon’s Porch family to yours. We hope to see you at the 14th annual “Prayer Over the City,” hosted by the Interfaith Council of St. George in the historic Tabernacle on New Years Day at noon!
St. George News will continue to add new messages to the “From Figures of Faith” series leading up to Christmas Day. For all faith messages, click here.
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