By Daphne Delay
"Sleep baby Jesus, close your weary eyes; hide yourself in faithful dreams before you live your life. Slip away to heaven; rest in gentle peace. Never to forsake you, the Lord your soul to keep. For your feet will walk on water, your eyes will pierce the dark. Your heart will save the souls of man; your hands will bear the scars..."
"Sleep baby Jesus, for soon your time will come to heal the wounded leper and calm the raging storm. With perfect steps, and perfect grace, you'll leave behind your fears and walk along these dusty roads, though your fate is near."
"Oh holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray; Cast out our sins and enter in. Be born in us today..."
I wish you could hear the music with these lyrics from a song titled Mary's Prayer by Bebo Norman. This song is definitely an appropriate meditation these few days before December 25th. However, it is also a year-round reminder of the gift God gave us.
Jesus entered this world as an innocent child—literally, a baby in his mother's arms. I wonder if He knew at that early age what lie ahead? Or did He, like the rest of us, discover His destiny over time? I suppose it doesn't matter. The important thing is,
"God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16
The baby born to bear the sins of the world became a man, who became a Savior.
"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6
God had a Son. We needed a Savior. The solution was a Child.
"Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, 'God with us.'" Matthew 1:23
Mary was the chosen virgin. In her womb, she would bear the child—the Son of the Living God.
"Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end." Luke 1:30-33
The child named Jesus was Immanuel, "God with us." He was literally God living in a man's body. Jesus was in the open, yet hidden incognito from the powers of darkness who watched and waited for prophesy to be fulfilled. A wise person once said, "A child is not a vase to be filled, but a fire to be lit."
Jesus, the Child given to man, was a fiery revolutionist.
He came to overthrow and replace the established government and agenda of hell by which the people were governed all their lives.
"...There is one coming who is mightier than I [John the Baptist], whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and FIRE." Matthew 3:11
Immanuel was a fire-starter, no doubt.
But are we surprised? The immaculate conception of God's Son was a spontaneous combustion. It was not seen with the natural eye, yet it happened in the spiritual realm. The mother birthed the Child, the Child birthed salvation, and a fire was started from the inside-out.
On one occasion, a demon-possessed man felt the fire of Immanuel. As Jesus taught in the synagogue:
"...as one having authority,... a certain man with an unclean spirit cried out, saying, 'Leave us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did you come to destroy us? I know who you are! You're the Holy One of God!'" Mark 1:22-24
The fire had concealed "Jesus of Nazareth" –the Child born to Mary and Joseph. But after this encounter, hell was alerted that SALVATION FOR MAN HAD COME. The fire which had been burning quietly began to blaze openly.
And it all began with a Child, whose name would be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
"Oh holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray; Cast out our sins and enter in..." Light a fire in us today.
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Daphne Delay is the founder of Mirror Ministries in Seminole, Texas. She is the author of Facing the Mirror: Finding a Self to Live With. Daphne has written over 200 articles for subscribers to Mirror Ministries and other publications, and she blogs nuggets of spiritual growth encouragement every week. Daphne is the wife of a senior pastor and the mother of three. www.mirrorministries.org
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